Having celebrated International Women’s day just a couple of weeks ago will still not be enough to compensate for the centuries of oppression women have faced. To incorporate true change, people from all walks of life need to come together and make the world more equality-oriented; a world where your gender does not decide what privileges one has access to.
Lately, state governments all across the nation have initiated women-centric schemes that will enable women to get out of the situation they find themselves to be in and empowers them to fight regressive systems to earn a dignified living for themselves in a progressive nation.
The Rajasthan government realised that one of the main social taboos among women in the state is the conversation around Menstrual hygiene. Hence, to fight the stigma and to bring out the conversation to more open grounds, the state government announced the Rajasthan Free Sanitary Napkin Scheme.
Rajasthan Menstrual Hygiene Scheme (MHS) for women
For the longest time, conversational societies have suppressed the discussion around menstruation, leading to women resorting to poor hygiene, which proves to be dangerous for them in the long run.
By announcing the Rajasthan Free napkin scheme, women will now discuss menstrual hygiene more openly and roughly about 1.2 crore women between the age group of 15 to 45 will be able to avail the benefits offered by the state government.
Salient features of the Menstrual Hygiene scheme in Rajasthan
The main features of the scheme are mentioned as follows:
- Roughly 1.2 crore women in the age group 14-45 years can take benefits of this health scheme
- The state government has made specific budgetary provisions to fund the scheme well. The government will distribute sanitary napkins for free and spread hygiene awareness among women.
- As per the Nation Family Health Survey report which was tabulated in 2015-16, only 55% of women in the age group of 15-45 years are aware of hygienic practices during menstruation.
- According to the survey, 45% of women in the age group 15-24 years in the state are at a higher risk of getting exposed to menstrual hygiene oriented diseases.
- With correct hygiene, women can be protected from fungal infection, urinary tract infection, reproductive tract infection, and several other health issues.
With these features, the dialogue around menstruation opens up to an extent until now undreamt of. In a regressive state like Rajasthan where the stranglehold of traditional patriarchy is still prevalent in the rural areas, this scheme will create a world of change for women.
Summing it up
The Menstrual Hygiene scheme forgoes all definitions of an added feature. It is an essential system; as essential as sex education is. Women need to understand proper menstrual hygiene to take care of themselves better – for, in the long run, it is only healthy women who will be able to bring a change in the nation’s future. A brighter future awaits for all citizens where the barriers of gender are broken down, and the change begins with one pad at a time.