Tamil Nadu

Napkin incinerators in govt. girls schools this year

To improve hygiene and sanitation facilities in government schools, the School Education department is working towards installing 4,161 electrical sanitary napkin incinerators during the 2018-19 academic year.

The incinerators will be installed in 1,896 government girls high schools and 1,438 higher secondary schools. A tender for the same, floated by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation (TNTESC), states that the implementation is being carried out, following an earlier announcement of the Minister for School Education last year, who had called for installing sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators across all schools.

A senior official from the TNTESC said a technical committee had been formed to come up with an effective model.

“We have decided not to install napkin vending machines as the health department has already been distributing them in rural areas and in schools. However, we will ensure that all the schools are well stocked with them,” the official added.

While this is a first of its kind initiative by the education department to implement such technology in a large number of schools, Self Help Groups, NGOs and private organisations have been engaging with adolescent girls in rural schools and distributing sanitary napkins as well as installing incinerators to promote better menstrual hygiene practices.

G. Shanthi, a teacher from Chennai, said that while an NGO had installed a napkin vending machine and an incinerator in the school a few years back, they were now defunct. “While the teachers keep speaking to the adolescent girls about hygienic menstrual practices which can be followed, it would help if doctors come and address the students on a regular basis. Most of them do not know how to use an incinerator or a vending machine and there should be regular follow ups to ensure that the machines are in working condition as well,” she said.

The health department distributes sanitary napkins to 32.79 lakh adolescent girls annually and this includes distribution of napkins to both school going and non-school going girls between the ages of 10 years to 19 years in rural areas.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 6:22:50 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/napkin-incinerators-in-govt-girls-schools-this-year/article23306499.ece