Women

‘Udaan Scheme’ proving to be a boon for women especially in rural areas

Thousands of women especially in rural areas of Rajasthan are feeling happy as they are getting sanitary napkins free of cost in their areas and this will help in maintaining their menstrual hygiene. The State Government has distributed more than 3.60 crore pieces of sanitary pads to women in the State.

Rekha Devi of Udaipurwati (Jhunjhunu district) feels good as she gets sanitary napkins free of cost from anganbari centre. She said, “I had hesitation in buying sanitary pads from the medical store so I used cloth during periods. I was also scared of getting the infection.  Now the government has started the distribution of sanitary napkins free of cost, which is a big welcome step for women especially in rural areas, she added.

Similarly, Renu Tailer of Sambhar (Jaipur district) thanking the government said, “I got sanitary napkins from anganbari free of cost, which I used and found them good. Now I do not face problems in getting sanitary pads during the period.” She requested the government to continue this scheme and maintain its availability so that women during menstruation do not face any problem in getting sanitary napkins.

The Rajasthan government on completion of its three years on December 19, 2021, had launched ‘I M Shakti Udaan Scheme’ under which sanitary napkins are distributed free of cost. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in his budget announcement for 2021-22 had announced to provide sanitary napkins to adolescent girls taking care of their ‘Health and Hygiene’.

In the first phase, around 26 lakh girl students studying in government’s middle, secondary and senior secondary schools in the State are being benefitted. In the rural areas, around 3 lakh adolescent girls and women aged 18-45 years in the identified 1410 anganbari centres in 282 blocks are getting free sanitary pads. These 29 lakh women are being given 12 sanitary pads each per month. More than 1.20 crore women will be linked to this scheme in a phased manner.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that 60% of the women-related diseases in the State are due to non-adherence to menstrual hygiene. Udaan scheme is a unique and innovative scheme of the Government of Rajasthan.  The women and Child Development department has been allotted Rs 200 crore for this scheme for the first phase, he added.

Women and Child Development Minister Mamta Bhupesh said that women in rural areas even today do not able to speak openly on the subject such as menstruation. This scheme will certainly help the women to move ahead from the hygiene and health point of view.

According to health experts, poor menstrual hygiene can cause infections such as urine, vaginal, cervix, fallopian and ovary infection. The use of an unclean cloth can cause urine infection, while not keeping private parts clean can cause vaginal infection. Cervix, fallopian and ovary infection can lead to infertility. The duration of bleeding may vary from two to seven days but due to ignorance, many girls face problems in managing menstruation due to which they face physical and mental problems. Menstrual hygiene and sanitary pads are related to each other. Sanitary pads help in stopping infections. If cloth pads are not washed properly then they can have many germs that can cause infections while sanitary pads are thrown away and need not have to be washed and dried. Sanitary napkins are good absorbent, prevent leakages and save clothes from blood stains.

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