Use of sanitary napkins during monthly periods is poor in rural areas.
Links are clear between poor menstrual hygiene and urinary & reproductive tract infections.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the Scheme for Promotion of Menstrual Hygiene among adolescent girls in the age-group of 10 to 19 years in rural areas in 2010. The key objectives of the scheme are to increase awareness among adolescent girls on Menstrual Hygiene, to increase access to and use of quality sanitary napkins to adolescent girls in rural areas and to ensure safe disposal of sanitary napkins in an environmentally friendly manner.
In the first phase, the scheme has been initiated as a pilot to cover 25% of the country’s adolescent girl population (aged 10 to 19 years), i.e., 1.5 crore girls in 152 districts across 20 States, with centralised supply by the Government of India in 107 districts and through Self Help Groups (SHGs) in the remaining 45 districts. Implementation has currently started in 107 districts, covered under central supply. Under the scheme, sanitary napkins are sold to adolescents girls at the rate of Rs. 6 per pack of six napkins, i.e. Re. 1/- per sanitary napkin by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) every month under NRHM’s brand, ‘Freedays’