The Government of India on Thursday launched biodegradable sanitary napkins priced at just Rs 2.50 per pad. The napkins will be available in the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyaojna Kendras (PMBJP). The napkins will be available in a pack of 4 pads, priced at Rs 10 per pack.
Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Ananth Kumar has stated that the sanitary napkins are manufactured by the department of pharmaceuticals under the ministry and will be available across the 3200 PMBJP Kendras by May 28, 2018. They will be sold under the brand name ‘Suvidha’. 28 May is observed as World Menstrual Hygiene Day.
Glad to launch 100% biodegradable sanitary napkin Suvidha #PMBJP
Enables Women (Suvidha) increase Hygiene (Swasthya) without harming Nature (Swachhta)
— Ananthkumar (@AnanthKumar_BJP) March 8, 2018
The scheme is aimed to benefit rural and underprivileged women across the country. The minister also added that at present, the market price of 4 sanitary napkins is Rs 32 on average and the low priced Suvidha napkins will benefit millions of women. He further added that the pads are oxo-biodegradable and hence environment-friendly too.
The minister also said according to the National Family Health Survey, about 58% of Indian women use locally prepared napkins. While 78% of urban women use sanitary napkins, only 48% of rural women have access to sanitary napkins. He insisted that the ‘Suvidha’ napkins will help to bridge the gap.
Ananth Kumar added that the sanitary napkins available widely in the market are usually non-biodegradable and not environment-friendly. But the ‘Suvidha’ napkins have a special additive which will react with oxygen and will be degraded naturally. He added that its biodegradable nature will also be beneficial as the discarded sanitary napkins constitute a major health and environmental hazard. The cheap availability of the Suvidha napkins is in line with the Prime Minister’s aim to make quality healthcare available to common people at affordable prices.