Around 10 middle schools, 35 High Schools and 39 Senior Secondary Schools that make a total of 84 Government Schools in the rural areas of Barnala District of Punjab have been equipped with sanitary pad vending machines and incinerators with a view to catering to the critical hygiene needs of adolescent girls.
Such facilities have been provided free of cost to the schools so that girls adopt good menstrual hygiene practices. The Department of School Education will monitor procurement of sanitary pads so there is no shortage.
In addition, the school administration of every institution has been provided with adequate funds to procure regular supply of sanitary pads to be placed in the vending machines. This is in keeping with the goal of the Department of School Education to provide good hygiene facilities for menstrual hygiene management in the schools.
Commenting on this much needed initiative, Smt. Vasundara Kapila Deputy, District Education Officer (Elementary) emphasized that such initiatives will go a long way to help girls to maintain hygiene during their menstrual cycle.
She described the functioning of the vending machines which consisted of two parts: one where sanitary pads are available, and the other to discard of the used sanitary pads
Meanwhile, Mr. Sarabjit Singh Toor, District Education Officer (Secondary) appreciated the efforts of the District Administration which had allocated funds amounting to Rs. 20.48 lakh for the initiative, with each vending machine costing Rs.32,000.
Over the past year, Barnala District has been steadily progressing towards achieving the status of the First ODF plus district in the State, under the leadership Deputy Commissioner Sh. Tej Partap Singh Phoolka. Many efforts including IEC activities to build awareness are being made to sustain the ODF status achieved by team SBM.
As many as 51 community sanitary complexes will be constructed in the villages by their respective Gram Panchayats during this year. Funds have been allocated for the same.
Inputs: Ms. Sevya Sharma, Community Development Specialist, DWSS