The Optimist Citizen

Happy Naari: Bhopal Becomes The First Railway Station In India To Install Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine

An initiative by the Madhya Pradesh Railway Authorities and Aarushi for Maintenance of Menstrual Hygiene among women.

The New Year indeed began on a happy note for the women at Bhopal Railway Station when a Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine was installed and inaugurated on the 1st of January. Bhopal became the first ever city in India to have this machine on its Railway Station.This initiative is taken up by the Railway Women Welfare Association and a local NGO, Aarushi.

The installation of such a machine on the railway station has facilitated the need of a large no. of female passengers and there were a lot of visible happy faces.It was inaugurated by Anjali Thakur, the senior most class IV worker of the station.The vending machine has been named as ‘Happy Nari'(A Happy Woman).It has been installed on Platform No. 1 of the Bhopal Railway Station. The machine will provide two napkins at a cost of Rs. 5 only. The whole process of installing this machine incurred a cost of less than Rs. 20,000. An outstanding response was received by the women on the station,and it was realised that such a machine was the need of the hour. The machine has a capacity of 75 napkins, which were provided by the NGO Aarushi. The authorities will collaborate with local sanitary napkin manufacturing associations and NGOs to acquire napkins at low prices. Since the response was excellent,the machine had to be refilled 8 to 9 times within a few hours of its commencement. Throughout the day,over 600 napkins were dispensed from the machine,according to officials.The female workers of the waiting room have been trained to refill and maintain the machine regularly.Women from surrounding slum areas were also excited to use the machine and were happy to receive sanitary napkins at a low price.

Looking at the positive response for these vending machines,officials have been motivated to install more and more such machines across all railway stations,government offices in Madhya Pradesh in the coming days. They are also looking forward to install incinerators for the proper disposal of menstrual waste.This initiative gives birth to the idea of Maintenance of Menstrual Hygiene among women and how they should be encouraged to use safe methods instead of using unhygienic and health harming methods of managing their periods. This is indeed an appreciable step by the Madhya Pradesh Railway Authorities and Aarushi.

Akshada Bhise | TOC

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