The Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Mansukh L Mandaviya, launched the ‘Janaushadhi Suvidha’, the oxo-biodegradable sanitary napkin, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) in Delhi on June 4, 2018.
The affordable sanitary napkin will now be made available at over 3600 Janaushadhi Kendras functional in 33 states and union territories across the country.
• The average price of sanitary napkins available in the market currently is around Rs 8 per pad, whereas the Suvidha napkins will be available at Rs 2.50 per pad.
• The initiative will make the basic hygiene requirement aid affordable for the underprivileged women.
• The product also comes with a special additive, which makes it biodegradable when it comes in contact with oxygen after being discarded.
• According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, about 58 percent of women aged between 15 to 24 years use locally prepared napkins, sanitary napkins and tampons.
• Further, about 78 percent women in urban areas use hygienic methods of protection during menstrual period, however, only 48 percent women in rural areas have access to clean sanitary napkins.
• The affordable sanitary napkins would ensure affordability, hygiene as well as ease of use and disposal.
• It is one of the most important requirements in ensuring health security to the section of women in India who still use unhygienic aids during menstrual period due to non-affordability of some of the popular brands of sanitary napkins available in the market currently.
• Such unhygienic aids often lead to fungal infections, reproductive tract infection, urinary tract infection, cervical cancer and also make women vulnerable to infertility.
The scheme aims to bring down the healthcare budget for all Indian citizens, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, by providing quality generic medicines at affordable prices.
It further aims to: