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For sanitation, S Dinajpur turns to ‘Padman’

Statesman News Service | Balurghat |

The South Dinajpur administration came up with a noble idea to spread awareness on sanitation issues among school-going girls in the district. Grabbing the opportunity that had come its way to create such awareness effectively, the administration on Thursday sponsored tickets for the movie ‘Padman,’ which is being screened at the Satyajit Mancha in Balurghat, for over 500 school girls.

The Bollywood movie is based on generating awareness and eradicating misconceptions on the use of sanitary napkins among women during menstruation. District Magistrate Sharad Kumar Dwivedi, Superintendent of Police Prasun Banerjee, Chief Medical Officer of Health Sukumar Dey, Balurghat Sub-Divisional Officer Isha Mukherjee and several other dignitaries were present in the movie show on Thursday, along with more than 500 schoolgoing students who enjoyed the movie free of cost, it is learnt.

“According to instructions given by the district administration, the School Education department circulated an order to allow girl students in all the schools in Balurghat to attend the show in the Satyajit hall,” sources said. South Dinajpur is district where more than 70% of the total population live in rural areas, and according to the district health department, more than 50% of women in the village areas do not use sanitary napkins during menstruation, while they rely on traditional and unhygienic methods.

A social organization of Buniadpur in the district was, meanwhile, appreciated for its extraordinary work in making rural people aware about the use of sanitary pads and their initiative to produce the same for the rural people. ‘Alo Female Co-operative Credit Society,’ with help from Self Help Groups, has begun its mission to produce sanitary napkins for women living in rural areas, it is learnt.

According to sources at the organisation, 20 women have been trained and they have already started making the pads. Several other Self Help Groups have also been engaged in the rural areas for survey and marketing. A packet containing 10 pieces of sanitary napkins will cost Rs 27.

“The civic body is soon going to declare the district Open Defection Free (ODF) under the Mission Nirmal Bangla project. Sanitation and hygiene are the two most important aspects of the mission. We have already arranged for hand-washing facility in all the schools in the district and are also trying to introduce a ‘menstrual hygiene concept’ soon. Through this movie ‘Padman’, we want the girl students to get a message on hygienic life,” said DM, Mr Dwivedi.