On January 26, 2014, the Ministry of Information Technology and Electronics launched Stree Swabhiman Yojana for ensuring the complete health of women. The scheme is operated by the Common Service Center (CSC). Currently, CSC has over 35,000 women entrepreneurs providing services to citizens, especially in rural areas. Stree Swabhiman Yojana is where sanitary napkin manufacturing units are established for promoting women’s health and hygiene.
Announced under Stree Swabhiman Drive, this scheme provides sanitary napkins to women in rural areas. Under this scheme, awareness about menstrual health and hygiene is also spread through various campaigns and initiatives. Moreover, semi-automatic and manual process production units are installed in rural areas; every production provides employment opportunities for over 710 women at a time.
Manufacturing facilities established under this scheme have the following salient features:
- Setting up a unit is easy, and manual production and manufacturing unit is easy to maintain.
- A unit comprises customized infrastructure and amenities.
- Over 750–1000 napkins are sterilized in one day.
- In terms of electricity, nearly as low as 20% of the entire process requires electricity.
Sanitary napkins manufactured are sold under the local brand names; these products are marketed by village-level entrepreneurs.
CSCs nationally implement this scheme at the basic level. This is a unique scheme for women to abide by their self-respect. CSCs provide affordable modern menstrual napkins, which are very much safe to use and bio-degradable and ensure the cleanliness and safety of women.
As of today, the scheme has benefitted nearly 60,700 women in 21 states, covering 160 districts.
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