Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
03-May-2013 12:37 IST
Scheme for Menstrual Hygiene

In the first phase, the Scheme for Promotion of Menstrual Hygiene has been started as a pilot in 152 districts across 20 States in 2010. Supply of sanitary napkins in 107 districts in 17 States has started in a centralised supply mode, wherein sanitary napkins have been supplied by Government of India under NRHM’s brand-name, ‘Freedays’. These States are: Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Supply of sanitary napkins in the remaining 45 districts was envisaged through Self Help Groups (SHG), wherein SHGs were to manufacture the sanitary napkins. SHG supply has not yet taken off in the ear-marked 45 districts. ‘Freedays’ are being sold to adolescents girls at the rate of Rs. 6 per pack of six napkins by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs).

A total amount of Rs. 70.65 crore had been ear-marked for supply of a total amount of 9.32 crore packs of sanitary napkins during the 11th Five Year Plan to the 17 States implementing the Scheme through centralized procurement. There was no separate State - wise fund allocation for the Scheme for Promotion of Menstrual Hygiene during the 11th Five Year Plan.

The Government of India has initiated an assessment of impact of the Scheme for Promotion of Menstrual Hygiene. The assessment is not complete and accordingly, results of the assessment are awaited.

IEC materials – audio, video and reading materials for adolescent girls, and job-aids for ASHAs for communicating with adolescent girls have been developed for generating adequate knowledge and information about menstrual hygiene and being used by the Centre and States. In addition, States are also planning re-orientation of ASHA workers for improving access to adolescent girls. States have proposed (in Programme Implementation Plans for 2013-14) use of mass media, print media and other means for increasing awareness on menstrual hygiene.

Mission Steering Group of NRHM has recently approved for continuation of the Scheme for Promotion of Menstrual Hygiene in 107 existing districts without any interruption and to prioritise the scheme for expansion in all districts and make appropriate provisions in the annual PIP.

This information was given by Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Shri Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury, in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.