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Sikkim Govt’s special gesture- free sanitary napkins for girls to curb school dropout rate

Sikkim's Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang announced two programmes for women and girls students to be implemented in this financial yeare

The Sikkim Government has unveiled two progressive schemes to promote empowerment of women and girl children in the State.

The two initiatives are called “Bahini” and “Aama Yojna”. In the former girls in Class IX and above will be provided free sanitary napkins, making Sikkim the first State in the country to do so. The second scheme is aimed at non-working women and under it Rs.20,000 each will be directly transferred directly into their bank accounts. For the women to receive this amount, it is mandatory that their names should be in the electoral roll.

These two schemes were announced by the Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang recently at a programme which he was attending in Melli, a town on the Sikkim-West Bengal border near Teesta river. He added that these initiatives will be implemented in the fiscal year 2022-23.

The objective of the Bahini scheme is to bring down the school dropout rate of girls mainly due to inaccessibility to sanitary napkins. There are 120 secondary schools and 90 senior secondary schools in the State. For the convenience of the girls, the Government will install sanitary napkin vending machines in schools.

Programmes will also be organised to create awareness and sensitisation about menstrual health and hygiene.

Under the Aama initiative, money will be transferred to those women who are in the below poverty line category. A sum of Rs.100 crores has been earmarked for this disbursal. The move is to inculcate saving among the non-working women in the State.

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