Menstruation is no more a word spoken under one’s breath in this UP College. One of the oldest institutions in Lucknow, Avadh Girls’ Degree College (AGDC) has taken a great step to fight the taboo which is often associated with the term. They are leading the way by installing the state’s first sanitary pad vending machine in the college.
Recently, the story of Kiran Gandhi who ran the London Marathon without a tampon on the first day of her period, amazed many of us. While it can be considered as yet another milestone in overcoming the shame associated with menstruation, there are very few in India who would carry a tampon or a sanitary pad in full public view. Talks of women’s liberation aside, there is still some level of embarrassment in being seen with a pad.
But the women in Avadh Girls’ Degree College (AGDC), Lucknow, have nothing to worry about now. Their college has become the first institution in Uttar Pradesh to install a sanitary napkin vending machine inside the washroom.
Picture for representation only. Source: hopebuilding
Girls here have to no more face the awkwardness of asking around for a napkin in case of an emergency. All they need to do is grab one from the vending machine for Rs 10. Prior to this, such machines have also been installed in some schools and colleges in West Bengal and Nagaland.
Meanwhile, the department of women’s studies at Lucknow University is in the process of setting up a sanitary pad manufacturing unit in one of the girls’ hostels. The step has been inspired by India’s menstrual man, Arunachalam Muruganantham who started a revolution with his low cost sanitary napkins.
A survey has revealed that just 12 percent of Indian women have access to sanitary pads, and nearly 20 to 30 percent of girls in North India drop out of school after they start menstruating. Poor menstrual hygiene and lack of facilities at schools are some of the major causes for the increasing drop out rates among girls. If more government institutions take the necessary steps like these, then such an eventuality can be avoided.