Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], October 5 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday launched the 'Swechha' programme under which the state government will provide good quality branded sanitary napkins to female students at government educational institutions free of cost.
The Chief Minister said "We are a government that strongly believes that the power to change history lies with the women in our state. Let us help them move forward."
Speaking on the taboo associated with menstruation, Reddy said that one should not shy away from talking about menstruation. "We need to create more awareness among female students and educate them on safe practices," he added.
As per a press release, the government will provide ten sanitary napkins every month to about 10 lakh adolescent girls studying from grades 7 to 12 in all government schools and intermediate colleges across the state at a financial outlay of Rs 32 crores under the initiative.
"A total of 120 napkins per year will be allotted to every female student. Even during summer vacations, the students will be supplied with their quota before they leave school," the release said.
"The free branded sanitary products being supplied are a result of the state government entering MOUs with corporate conglomerates like P&G and Niine Pvt Ltd and the brands being supplied in government schools are Whisper and Niine. Additionally, through the MOUs signed, Sanitary napkins will be sold at YSR Cheyutha retail stores at lowered prices to around 1 crore women residing in both rural and urban areas," it added.
The release further informed that each school will have a female educator appointed as a Nodal Officer to help the female students with sanitary napkins supply, safe methods of disposal, and any assistance the students may require.
"Further for a safer and environment-friendly way of disposal, the state government has set up 6,417 incinerators across the state through the Clean Andhra Pradesh (CLAP) initiative," it stated.
"Restroom facilities for girls with uninterrupted water supply are being built in 56,703 government schools, hostels, and educational institutions are set to be completed by July 2023. The construction of separate restrooms in 15,715 schools has already been completed," it added.
The release also said that as part of a monthly orientation program, Nodal Officers, ANMs and Mahila Police will gather at the local Sachivalayam to educate and create awareness amongst female students studying between classes 7 to 12. (ANI)