India: 200 railway stations to get sanitary napkin dispensers, incinerators

Ahead of International Women's Day on March 8, On Monday, the ministry said that the Railway wants to install sanitary napkin dispensers and incinerators at about 200 major railway stations across the country

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As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) IV:

  • 62% young women in the country in the age group 15 to 24 years use cloth for menstrual protection.
  • 42% women use sanitary napkins.
  • 16% use locally prepared napkins.
  • Majority of women in rural areas did not use a hygienic method of menstrual protection with the survey findings indicating that only 48% of those surveyed in rural India used sanitary napkins during their menstrual cycle as against 78% in urban parts of the country.
  • The survey was conducted in the year 2015-2016.

As per the railway ministry’s statement, on Sunday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal visited ‘Dastak’, a production unit started by Railway Women’s Welfare Central Organisation (RWWCO) for making eco-friendly and affordable sanitary pads at its Sarojani Nagar Railway Colony centre in New Delhi. The cost of a single pack containing six pads is a meagre Rs 22. It is envisaged that the cost would further come down as the production picks up. Goyal said that such projects should be scaled up and the national transporter should be a leader in such social spheres.

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While speaking to the media, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman Railway Board said, “Efforts are being made to cover about 200 major and way-side Railway stations and Railway premises by March 8, 2018, International Women’s Day for the benefit of women employees and women of financially weaker sections of the society.”

“Such project should be scaled up. Like distribution, the disposal of sanitary napkins is equally important. Doing it with environment friendly way is also crucial. Now, it is the responsibility of people to use it correctly. This is a welcome step by government,” said Praveen Nikam, a Pune-based activist who works in the area of sanitation and women health issues.

 Sanitary pad dispensers and incinerators have already been installed in:
  • New Delhi
  • Bhopal Railway stations
  • Railway Offices across the country including one at Baroda House, the Headquarter office of the Northern Railway