To address absenteeism among girl students due to menstruation and dropping out of schools after attaining puberty, the first of its kind menstrual hygiene management programme has been launched by the Sivasagar district administration in Assam.
In the first phase of the project, 17 schools, including four co-ed institutions and Sibsagar Girls' College, will have sanitary vending machines and incinerators to dispose of napkins in a hygienic manner. State Power minister Topon Kumar Gogoi inaugurated the project at an institution at Yuvadol in Sivasagar on Tuesday.
Speaking on the occasion, Gogoi said, "Times are changing and the Sivasagar district administration's step towards menstrual hygiene management is a testimony of that. The subject of menstruation has been discussed in our state Assembly and funds have been allocated in the budget. "But we have to create awareness in the community and Sivasagar district can be a role model for other districts to follow."
The project would also see the formation of WASH groups in all these schools and college with a nodal teacher, who would be the torch bearer in percolating good habits of safe and hygienic disposal practices, removal of social taboos and other related sanitation issues, the Deputy Commissioner of Sivasagar, Pallav Gopal Jha said. The project, 'Sakhi: A ray of hope', is being supported by oil major ONGC under its CSR activity and is in consonance with the objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Executive Director of ONGC, Assam Asset, S D Maske said, through this project, the oil major has joined hands with the Sivasagar district administration and the UNICEF for easy accessibility and affordability of sanitary napkins for girls, especially from economically underprivileged families.