Compulsory Sanitary Pad Vending Machines at all public & private women’s toilets in India

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According to a report published by WaterAid, illnesses related to a lack of water, basic sanitation, and hygiene is the fifth biggest killer of women in the world. According to BBC magazine, 70% of the reproductive infections in Indian women are caused by poor menstrual hygiene. With India walking in the path of economic development over the last few decades, women have become a quintessential part of the workforce. Given these circumstances, it is of crucial importance to make workplaces, schools, and other public places convenient for women to practice hygiene during their menstrual cycles.

Women, in India, are socialized to be uncomfortable, to endure pain, and to ignore their discomfort. A working woman spends most of her time at her workplace and unfortunately, her menstrual cycle cannot align with her busy work-life schedule and job role. While there are toilets for women at many places today, a sanitary pad vending machine is not seen at these toilets. With these vending machines, women would not have to worry about accidental staining of clothes and would not need to rush for an emergency purchase of a pack of pads in an uncomfortable state. Vending machines would help women to avoid accidental staining of clothes, while also making sure women do not have to rush to purchase a pack during emergencies in uncomfortable conditions. This will make women more at ease and definitely more productive and focussed on their work or study. 

In May 2017, Kerala became the first state to make sanitary napkin vending machines mandatory in all schools. The government’s ‘She Pad’ scheme was implemented with an aim to distribute healthy and clean sanitary pads to all school students across the state. In October 2017, the Supreme Court decided to have sanitary napkin vending machines and released Rs 10 lakhs with immediate effect for promoting menstrual hygiene among the 1,000 woman lawyers, interns, and the 250 woman staff. Within the humongous Indian Railways, Bhopal Railway Station became the first to install an automated sanitary napkin dispenser – named – Happy Nari on January 1, 2018, inaugurated by the senior-most Class Four worker, Anjali Thakur. Making sanitary napkins compulsory at the workplaces and schools would lead to improvement of health conditions of working women in India, while also leading to greater productivity. 

Hence, we request the authorities to immediately act and pass the required Government Resolutions which strongly highlight and enforce Compulsory Sanitary Pad Vending Machines and Incinerators at all public toilets, all the women toilets at all private places in India including but not limited to business centers, offices, schools, colleges, etc, and all the women toilets at all public places in India including but not limited to Shopping malls, Multiplexes, Gardens, Airports, Railway Stations, Tourist places, etc.

We request you all to sign this petition in large numbers and support the cause so that this delicate issue can be enforced through the required government intervention. This New Year, let us all give women convenience and the most comfortable environments wherever they go.

#Lets_Talk
#Gender_Equality
#Womens_rights
#Raise_Your_Voice 
#Menstrual_hygiene

Petition by students of IIM Ahmedabad:

  1. Drishti Raj
  2. Makarand Gomashe
  3. Sushmita Das

Endorsed by:

  1. Manjula Pradeep, Ahmedabad (Women’s Rights Activist)
  2. Sheba George, Ahmedabad (Women’s Rights Activist)
  3. Prof. Sandeep Pandey, Ph.D., UC Berkeley; Visiting Faculty, IIT Kanpur, IIT Gandhinagar, BHU Varanasi, IIM Ahmedabad (Social Activist)

Photo Credit: YourStory