On Monday, In an attempt to make sanitary pads more friendly and affordable to women, the Government lower the value of Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin from Rs 2.50 to Re 1 per pad.
The biodegradable sanitary napkin ‘Suvidha’ consists of 4 pieces in a packet and will be accessible at the subsidized rate in particular centers across the country.
The Government has also launched Jan Aushadhi Sugam Mobile App which presents the specifications of products available in these stores and also helps in locating nearby stores.
The Minister of State for Chemicals & fertilizers, Mansukh L. Mandaviya, told the media that “About 28 million girls are reported to be leaving education because of lack of availability of good quality Sanitary Napkin pads at a reasonable cost. Suvidha napkin will now be available at only One Rupee per pad”.
Mandaviya also added, “During the last one year, around 2.2 crore sanitary napkins have been sold from these stores. With the reduction in the prices, we expect the sales to jump over two times. We are focusing on quality, affordability, and accessibility”.
The main aim of this move is fulfilling the commitments done by PM Modi in 2019 General Elections manifesto. The PM had assured that if he comes back to power, more affordable and accessible supply of sanitary pads across India.
The Government launched the Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin at Rs 2.50 per pad in June 2018. Above 1.30 crore pads were sold at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) till 31 July 2019.
The product is available in more than 5500 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadi Pariyojana Kendras across the country.
The main focus is providing hygienic means to women who are still dependent on unhygienic aids during menstrual periods as they cannot afford sanitary pads.
During menstruation, the usage of unhygienic products, like fibers, and dirty old clothes at points lead to fungal infections, Reproductive Tract Infection, Urinary Tract Infection, cervical cancer and also make some females vulnerable to infertility.
The Suvidha napkin has a unique additive that makes it 100% biodegradable when it acts with oxygen after it is used and disposed of.
According to Menstrual Health Alliance India, an NGO, sanitary napkins constitute above 45 % of menstrual waste, which is discharged as routine waste along with household garbage. This is a potential health risk. Besides, the disposal of non-biodegradable sanitary napkins available today creates an immense environmental obstacle.
In such a situation, Suvidha napkin comes with the twin benefit of being affordable and eco-friendly at the same time.