Sanitary pads are an essential item for women during periods. Sanitary pads are use to avoid period stains and to maintain menstrual hygiene during menses. Every month women go through the menstruation cycle. The menstruation cycle doesn’t stop for floods or pandemics. After the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, women faced a shortage of period products. However, there were many NGOs who helped women with a pack of sanitary pads. Flood causes significant destruction of life. The Government provides flood relief materials to flood victims, including food grains, pulses, rice, oil, jaggery, salt, utensils, and many more. One more item added by the Government of Assam in flood relief items is Sanitary pads.
Assam’s Government decided to include Sanitary pads in flood relief item:
Women who are flood victims find it challenging to get sanitary pads. Many people were shift to schools and community centers during the monsoon to serve as temporary relief camps. Over 70 lakh people were affect in most districts of the state and result in the death of 113 people due to the flood. To women and adolescent girls, NGOs and activists distribute Sanitary pads during floods in the state.
But this year, on May 28, Friday on World Menstrual Hygiene Day; the Government of Assam announce that Sanitary pads must be include in the flood relief item. This announcement was in response to a proposal made by Mayuri Bhattacharjee is a Tezpur-based menstrual health activist; who runs a digital campaign on change.org for two years. Mayuri Bhattacharjee delivered 300 pads to the chief of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) and the Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma when he was Health and Finance Minister in August 2020 highlight the suffering of women in flood camps.
A message was given by ASDMA sign by the Commissioner and Secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management Department, MS Mannivannan, was sent to all districts that ask authority to add Sanitary pads to the list of relief items from the Gratuitous Relief Fund. Mandira Buragohin from Knowledge Management and Climate Change, ASDMA, state that it is the first time sanitary napkins will officially have a share in relief items.
Mayuri Bhattacharjee stated that she got a personal message from ASDMA about including the sanitary pads in Flood relief items. She also mentioned that the suffering of women and adolescent girls would end, and they will be less worried while battling floods during the pandemic. Her campaign on change.org called Dignity of Flood asks the Government for 50 model women-friendly shelters that include pads in 10 flood-prone areas. The decision to have sanitary pads in relief material will help women who are flood victims during floods. One needs to understand that period products are one of the essential items that women need during periods.
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