Jagan launches 'Sweccha' to safeguard girls' hygiene at schools

He said under this initiative, awareness on menstruation would be created among students between classes 7 and 12, once in every month

VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday launched the Swechha programme which aims at the health and hygiene of adolescent girls studying in government schools and colleges by providing quality sanitary napkins at free of cost. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said almost 23 percent of young girls in the country were staying away from attending schools and colleges during menstruation.

The Chief Minister said in order to change these circumstances, the state government had been taking measures right from improving toilets in all government institutions under the Nadu-Nedu initiative to the Swechha programme. He said under this initiative, awareness on menstruation would be created among students between classes 7 and 12, once in every month by women teachers, ANM staff and women police.

Jagan Mohan Reddy said apart from this, awareness on Disha App and Disha Act would also be created by women police and the joint collector (Aasara) would be monitoring the orientation programmes. A women teacher would be appointed as a nodal officer and the state government would provide quality sanitary napkins to over 10 lakh students studying between classes 7 and 12 at a cost of Rs 32 crore, where each student would receive 120 napkins every year. The students will also be taught on proper disposal of sanitary pads, where separate dustbins and 6,417 incinerators have been provided under CLAP programme.

The Chief Minister said the state was leading in women empowerment, where these sanitary napkins would be sold at Cheyutha shops at affordable rates. The government initiated Nadu-Nedu and revamped all toilets in 56,703 schools and hostels by constructing them with running water facilities. In the first phase, 15,715 schools had been renovated and all the remaining schools would be covered by 2023, he said.

Later, during the event, the Chief Minister released a poster on the Swechha programme. Women and child welfare minister Taneti Vanitha welcomed distribution of sanitary napkins free of cost to adolescent girls under the Swechha programme and thanked the Chief Minister for focusing on the health and hygiene of students. She said sanitary napkins were being distributed to 10 lakh students and a nodal officer would monitor the distribution in every school and added that branded napkins were being made available at YSR Cheyutha stores.

Minister Vanita said napkins were being procured from Procter & Gamble and Niine companies and added that stocks required for October and November were already sent to schools. She reminded that the state government had been spending Rs 1,800 crore per year for Sampoorna Poshana and Sampoorna Poshana Plus schemes focusing on better health for women.

Ministers Thaneti Vanita, Adimulapu Suresh, Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas, Women and Child Welfare principal secretary AR Anuradha, social welfare principal secretary K Sunitha, tribal welfare secretary Kantilal Dande, health and family welfare commissioner Katamaneni Bhasker, SERP CEO Imtiaz, women and child welfare director (Disha special officer) Kritika Shukla, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan SPD Vetri Selvi, school education director Vadrevu China Veerabhadrudu and other officials were present.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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