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Automatic napkin vending machines in 120 schools

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For the benefit of all: Dharmapuri Collector P. Amutha (second left) at the international seminar on menstrual hygiene and safe drinking water held at Washington.
For the benefit of all: Dharmapuri Collector P. Amutha (second left) at the international seminar on menstrual hygiene and safe drinking water held at Washington.

Staff Reporter

Rural women in Dharmapuri to be trained in napkin production

DHARMAPURI: Napkin vending machines will soon be installed in 120 Government schools in Dharmapuri District, said Collector P. Amutha recently. Bill Gates Foundation was ready to offer financial help for this, Ms. Amutha added.

She had recently participated in an international seminar on safe drinking water, total sanitation and menstrual hygiene for women at Washington on October 29 and 30.

Of the 28 personalities invited for the seminar, Ms. Amutha was the only woman selected to represent the South Asian Region for the seminar.

She shared her experience at the international seminar with reporters. A team from Melinda Gates Foundation will soon visit Dharmapuri for an on-the-spot appraisal of various welfare schemes undertaken by the district administration, she said. During the seminar she related the experiences that she gained from the UNICEF where she worked on the drinking water and hygienic programmes for five years.

She also explained at the seminar the various measures undertaken to ensure menstrual hygiene among tribal girls studying in residential schools under the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya scheme (KGBV) and the automatic napkin vending machines (ANVM) installed in some of the Government schools in Dharmapuri for this purpose.

Ms. Amutha also mentioned that school girls were generally reticent about discussing such issues and many of them underwent psychological turmoil during the menstrual periods. The SHGs in Dharmapuri were training rural woman in napkin production, she added.

The Melinda Gates Foundation has come forward to provide funds for setting up the ANVMs in Government schools.

Installation of one ANVM and an incinerator will cost about Rs. 25,000.

Ms. Amutha made an appeal to the Foundation to install ANVM in 58 Government High schools and 78 Government Higher Secondary schools in Dharmapuri in the first phase. In the second phase, she appealed to the Foundation to help install ANVMs in all the middle schools and Primary Health Centres in Dharmapuri.

She also said that she would be participating as a member of the coordinating committee at an international seminar on drinking water and hygiene which would be held from November 16 to November 21 in New Delhi. Representatives from SAARC nations were expected to participate in the seminar, she added.

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