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Chennai Corporation launches ‘Kanniyam’ – free sanitary pads scheme in schools

Representational image. Girl students of Chennai Corporation-run schools will be provided free sanitary napkins every month (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@ElixirIndiaOrg)

With the objective of promoting menstrual hygiene in schools run by Chennai Corporation, the authorities have decided to supply free sanitary napkins to the girl students of these institutions studying from Classes VI to XII.

Every girl student will be given 10 napkins in a month under this scheme.

Talking to the media, an official of the Corporation said: “Menstruating students may collect up to 10 sanitary napkins each from their teachers every month. There will also be additional boxes in the toilet blocks for those who may need immediate access to them.”

Further, the washrooms in the schools will have five packs or 50 sanitary napkins for emergencies.

It was assured that the napkins will be of highest quality to avoid any leakages or discomfort for a minimum of six hours and will have to adhere to the specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

The initiative is called “Kanniyam” and for this Rs.4.5 crore have been earmarked under the Nirbhaya Fund which is a Rs.1,000 crore corpus for empowerment, safety and security of women and girl children and is administered by the Ministry of Finance,

For the proper implementation of the scheme involving supply and disposal of the napkins, 16 women personnel will be deployed — one for every 10 schools.

Going beyond the promotion of menstrual hygiene, this move is expected to create awareness on safe disposal practices. For this the pads will be provided in eco-friendly pouches which will be oxo-biodegradable bags and these will be available in the washrooms of the schools also. To tackle the considerable waste that will be generated, a proper and safe disposal mechanism will also be placed.

Also the programme will emphasise on changes during puberty, knowing what is menstruation, how to deal with the pain, the nutrition associated with it, while dispelling myths and misconceptions about it and breaking the silence on the issue.

Also read: Sikkim Govt's special gesture- free sanitary napkins for girls to curb school dropout rate