Karnataka government relaunches Shuchi scheme to give free sanitary pads to students; to create awareness on menstrual cups

Health minister said that the health department will take up a program to create more awareness about the use of menstrual cups.

ByPTI

Published Feb 29, 2024 | 8:23 AMUpdatedFeb 29, 2024 | 8:23 AM

Karnataka government relaunches Shuchi scheme to give free sanitary pads to students; to create awareness on menstrual cups. (Creative Commons)

After it was stalled for the last four years, the Karnataka government on Wednesday, 28 February, re-started the Shuchi scheme for menstrual hygiene by supplying sanitary napkins.

It will be supplied to around 19 lakh adolescent girls at the school and college levels.

According to officials, through the relaunched scheme, the Karnataka Health Department will provide free sanitary napkins to around 19 lakh girls (aged 10 to 18 years) in government and aided schools and colleges across the state. The health department will directly deliver sanitary pads to the schools which will be distributed to the girls by the heads.

Also Read: 3 women leading the menstrual health and hygiene movement in the South

‘Important for health and hygiene’

Each kit would have 10 sanitary napkins in a pack. Napkins required for one year will be given to the female students.

Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said this scheme is important for the hygiene and health of female students.

Earlier, the project was started by the previous Siddaramaiah-led state government. However, Rao said, he doesn’t know why such an important project was stopped by the later (BJP-led) government.

“In our Congress government, after I became the Health Minister, I had announced that the scheme would be revived,” he said.

While the Congress government has implemented Shakti and Gruha Lakshmi Scheme in favour of women, the Shuchi Yojana, which was started with a collective vision for girls’ health, cannot be ignored, he said.

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To create awareness of menstrual cups

“We are providing free sanitary napkins to 19 lakh school and college girls at a cost of ₹47 crores. Girls from very poor families can not afford it,” he said.

The minister also emphasised that menstruation is a natural process and that there is no need for girls to be hesitant about this.

There are some superstitions attached to it and it is important to get rid of them and create awareness about cleanliness and the use of sanitary napkins, he said.

Cleanliness and scientific management of menstruation are important for girls’ health, he added.

“As an alternative to sanitary pads, we have implemented a pilot program in two districts to distribute menstrual cups under Shuchi Yojana. Menstrual cups are eco-friendly and the project has received a good response,” Rao said.

The health minister also said that the health department will take up a program to create more awareness about the use of menstrual cups instead of sanitary pads.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)