Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine in Rural TN School Brings Relief for Schoolgirls

by Tanya Thomas on Jul 16 2008 10:42 AM

Thanks to a Tamil Nadu government and UNICEF joint initiative, schoolgirls in a certain district in state can now have less stressful monthly periods. A sanitary napkin vending machine has been installed at a school here to promote personal hygiene among girl students in rural areas.

The initiative has come up as part of a tie-up between the Tamil Nadu Government and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to install sanitary napkin vending machines at schools in rural areas. It aims to promote personal hygiene among the students.

'Mekala Chinnampally Girls' High School' in Krishnagiri district is the first school of the State to have a sanitary vending machine with an incinerator.

The prime objective of the initiative is to introduce these girls to sanitary napkins, who till now relied on traditional methods of using piece of clothes during their menstrual periods.

The napkin vending machine has come as a boon for the students as they now have access to a safe and better mode of protection at a very nominal cost of rupees two.

"What we have tried to do is to provide the sanitary napkins at their school itself, at the toilets itself, through the sanitary napkin vending machines. This will provide one piece of napkin at just rupees two," said Santosh Babu, the District Collector for Krishnagiri.

Girls at the school can now take care of their health and hygiene in a better way after installation of the napkin vending machine here.

Also, the easily availability of napkins have helped them to overcome the embarrassment and fear of staining, that they used to face otherwise while using cloth.

"Before the napkin vending machine was set up in our school, we used to be very worried while coming to school, as we were using clothes before being introduced to sanitary napkins. We are required to put in two rupees into the machine and it returns a napkin. Our teachers taught us how to use them. We also have a place where we can burn the used napkins," said Sasikala, a student.

Around 570 teachers across the State were trained by UNICEF to inform students on menstrual hygiene and also to teach the girls how to use a sanitary napkin.

The vending machines cost the administration rupees 8, 000 (186 dollars), while the low cost incinerator cost rupees 1,500 (35 dollars), which after the success of this venture, plans to install these machines in the schools all over the State. By Jaikumar