Vijayawada: All the schools and public places in VMC limits will have sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators by this March. This apart, the VMC also has created awareness about menstrual cycle management among the girl students. The pilot project has been launched at Valluri Sarojini Devi Municipal High School, Patamata, and is receiving good response and applause from the public. The girl students in the school have been utilising the vending machine.
The funds for the project have been allocated by the VMC under women development activities. Once the city get a good rank in the Swachh Survekshan this year, funds from Swachh Andhra can be used for this purpose. Under the Swachh programme, some cities in the country have already begun using these sanitary napkins vending machines and incinerators. The VMC studied the reports of cities using the machines before launching it in the city.
The incinerators are proving to be a boon to the VMC sanitary staff as the used napkins are being burnt in them avoiding their indiscriminate dumping in toilets, which leads to blocking of sewers. V. Deepika, a ClassX student, said: "It is good for us. Earlier, we used to shy away from taking permission from the teacher to leave the class during periods. Now, we know what to do during periods and can take precautionary measures."
K. Divya, another Class X student said: "The machine is very useful. It would be more good if the napkins are given free, instead of charging Rs 5 for each." Headmistress Jyothi Radha told DC "It is a good initiative. The girls used to skip school during periods. Now, after the machine has been installed there are no such incidents." Each vending machine costs Rs 50,000 and the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation is going to install 50 more machines in the city soon. VMC commissioner J. Nivas told DC, "The response is good. All the machines will be installed by March and they will be useful to other women too.