With the coronavirus fears gripping the country and people following the 21-day lockdown till April 15, people are now facing crisis for commodities.
The Govt had however stated that essentials will be provided during this time; one of the most essential commodity for women probably did not cross anyone's mind. With fresh orders being issued today, Smriti Irani in a Tweet posted orders regarding sanitary napkins being added to essential commodity list.
Smriti Irani in a Tweet she posted today said, "Taking note of growing concern regarding the availability of Sanitary Napkins, Home Secretary to Government of India has issued a clarification to Chief Secretaries of all the states regarding Sanitary Pads being an essential commodity."
Taking note of growing concern regarding availability of Sanitary Napkins, Home Secretary to Government of India has issued clarification to Chief Secretaries of all the states regarding Sanitary Pads being an essential commodity. pic.twitter.com/V2mj4fHjW3— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) March 29, 2020
The move has been lauded by many on Twitter calling it as a welcoming step. Some major commodities covered under the Essential Commodity Act are mostly food items like edible oil and seeds, vanaspati, pulses, rice, sugarcane and its products; petroleum and petroleum products; jute and textile; seeds of fruits and vegetables; and drugs and fertilizers. But sanitary napkins are nowhere mentioned in the list that will create problems for women around the country.
Telangana, Karnataka govt also lists essential commodities
Sanitary napkins and several other hygiene products are not clearly listed under essential goods and this will cause problems in their supply across the country. Because of big players like Amazon, Flipkart etc unable to carry on with their operations everywhere; users will not have access to these. Also, these big players are not able to pick up sanitary napkins due to a lack of clarity on sanitary napkins being an essential commodity.
It should be noted that Telangana and Karnataka governments have listed these as essential commodities; the Central Govt also needed to make a similar move. Lakhs of women around the country need these and if their supply chain isn't smooth; it will lead to making these women devoid of basic and important hygiene.
By announcing the nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Modi has made the much-needed move to further break the spread of COVID-19 but during this lockdown, it is important that enforcement bodies and suppliers work together to ensure their uninterrupted supply.