India is a developing country, and like all developing countries out there, India is increasingly addressing traditional beliefs and overcoming them one by one. Among these progressive attempts is one that has been under the radar for the longest time, and that is – menstrual hygiene.
Owing to the taboo around the topic, women have seldom discussed the ills of poor menstrual hygiene which has long-lasting effects on them. To normalize menstrual discussions and to bring the topic to the forefront, the government of Tamil Nadu has initiated the Tamil Nadu Sanitary Napkin Scheme 2021.
About the scheme
The Tamil Nadu Sanitary Napkin scheme 2021 is an innovative initiative by the Tamil Nadu state government. Under the scheme, the state government will provide free sanitary napkins to women in urban areas. To implement this, the state government has sanctioned ₹44.25 crores.
This scheme is actually an extension of the Free Sanitary Pad Scheme, which is being implemented in the rural areas in Tamil Nadu for about 9 years and will now finally extend its help and support to women in the urban areas.
Delivery of the Pads in Tamil Nadu
Here is how the implementation of the scheme would be carried out in Tamil Nadu
- The Sanitary pads will be delivered to government schools for free
- There would also be an acknowledgement generated and will be obtained by the Urban Health nurse in the school
- The Urban health nurses will also go to the ICDS every Saturday along with the Anganwadi workers to reach out to as many women as possible.
- The Urban Health Nurse and Anganwadi workers will distribute health kits to girls who are not part of the government schools so that they do not miss out on menstrual hygiene just because they are not in a position to attend school.
- The Urban Health nurse will also distribute the kits to postnatal mothers during home visits as they too are in need of resources to help them get through their menstrual cycles.
- The Free Sanitary napkin scheme in Tamil Nadu is set to cover around 1000 health centers in the metro cities of Tamil Nadu and several schools in the state as well.
The taboo around menstruation and its discussions have always made it a hush-hush discussion. The state government will provide Dignity kits which will have hygiene and sanitary items apart from other items to cater to local needs of the women and help girls during the reproductive age especially in certain backward communities.
Women need to be educated about Sanitary conditions and what they need to help them through those days. With this great initiative from the Tamil Nadu government, women now have a chance to improve their menstrual health and not shroud the discussion under shame anymore.
Menstrual health needs to be discussed not only to enable women to better hygiene but to also empower themselves.