In a bid to ensure safe disposal of sanitary napkins in an environmentally friendly manner, the Punjab government had installed the 100 sanitary incinerators machines in government schools of 7 districts under the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme.
Disclosing this on Tuesday, the health and family welfare minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that the health department, in coordination with department of education had installed the 100 sanitary incinerators machines in the schools of districts Moga, Muktsar, Bathinda, Fazilka, Faridkot, and SAS Nagar as a pilot project.
He said that disposal of menstrual waste is a major challenge as it affects health and environment and there is a need of effective long term solution. He said that sanitary incinerator is an effective method to dispose off sanitary napkins.
It is eco-friendly, it burns up waste resulting in no waste of water. The ash left behind after incineration is sterile and safe for disposal. He said after getting the positive results, this project will also be extended to the other districts of state.
“Menstrual Hygiene is a natural process however it is still a-taboo in our society as it is considered unclean and dirty. Good menstrual hygiene is every girl’s right as it is crucial for health, education and dignity of girls and women,” he added.
The minister divulged that studies have shown that not only does the shame and inconvenience of not having proper menstrual hygiene products can force young girls to drop out of school. He said that according to an advocacy organisation for sexual and reproductive health, 23 per cent girls listed menstruation as the main reason for dropping out of school.
The minister further said that Punjab government has also re-launched the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme (MHS) 2018-19 for adolescent girls residing in rural areas of districts Bathinda, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Faridkot, SAS Nagar, Moga and Muktsar under Brand name “MUSKAAN’.
He said that to address the need of Menstrual Hygiene among adolescent girls residing primarily in rural areas, The Punjab Government had announced the MHS Budget with an allocation of Rs 139 lakh in year 2018-19. He said that adolescent girls, primarily rural, between the age group of 10 to 19 years of age can avail the benefits of this scheme at subsidised rate.