In a new initiative for better health, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the 'Swechha programme' which aims at the health and hygiene of adolescent girls studying in government schools and colleges by providing quality sanitary napkins free of cost.
Under this programme, the State government will be providing quality sanitary napkins to over 10 lakh students studying between 7-12 classes at the cost of Rs 32 crore, where each student will be getting 120 napkins every year. The students will also be taught on proper disposal of sanitary pads, where separate dustbins and 6417 incinerators have been provided under the CLAP programme.
Speaking during the launch, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that many reports stated that almost 23 per cent of the young girls in this country are staying away from attending schools and colleges during menstruation. In order to change these circumstances, the State government has been taking measures right from improving toilets in all government institutions under the Nadu-Nedu initiative to bringing the Swechha programme.
He further added that under this initiative, awareness on menstruation will be created for the students studying in classes 7-12, once every month by women teachers, ANMS and women police. Apart from this, awareness via Disha App and Disha Act will also be given by the women police and Joint Collector (Aasara) will be monitoring the orientation programmes and a women teacher will be appointed as a nodal officer.
The Chief Minister said that the State is leading in Women Empowerment, where these sanitary napkins will be sold at Cheyutha shops at affordable rates. The government initiated Nadu-Nedu and revamping all the toilets in 56703 schools and hostels by constructing them with running water facilities. In the first phase, 15,715 schools have been renovated and all the remaining schools will be completed by 2023. ‘One should not shy away from talking about Menstruation. We need to create more awareness among female students and educate them on safe practices', CM added.