The jarring menstrual hygiene crisis in rural India is no secret. But the Maharashtra state government, through a unique scheme, is giving you a chance to sponsor a year worth of sanitary pads for rural school girls for a meagre contribution.
All you have to do is visit the state women and children development department’s ‘Asmita scheme’ portal here and pay Rs 182.40!
The Asmita scheme portal was launched by the women and child development department after the state cabinet approved it this month, on Thursday reports the Hindustan Times.
The motivation to launch the scheme was the low penetration rate of sanitary pads in rural Maharashtra which is 17%.
“I found that school girls in Maharashtra miss up to 40 days a year because of a lack of access and money to buy sanitary napkins. This had to change,” state women and child development minister, Pankaja Munde told HT.
This will encourage individuals to promote menstrual hygiene among rural school students while impacting change on the ground through sponsoring a child online.
As per the scheme, rural Maharashtra schoolgirls will be provided ‘Asmita’ sanitary napkins. Global agencies produced these napkins and they were acquired through the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission, UMED.
Distributed and sold by self-help groups, these packs will cost Rs 5 for a pack of eight pads for rural school girls with the government bearing the cost of Rs 15.29 for every pack.
Depending on the size, sanitary pad packs of eight will cost between Rs 24 or Rs 29 for rural women.
All women and girls covered under the scheme will be given Asmita cards reported the publication.
The scheme is expected to be officially launched by the state government on March 8, on the event of Women’s Day at the hands of actor Akshay Kumar, who portrayed the role of menstrual hero, social entrepreneur and activist Arunachalam Muruganantham in ‘Padman.’