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Fazilka introduces sanitary pad vending machines, incinerators in CSCs

Fazilka : Fazilka district in Punjab which boasts of community sanitary complexes (CSCs) in all its Gram Panchayats has set up sanitary pad vending machines and incinerators in CSCs of 5 villages out the 36 villages on a pilot basis. The initiative will scale up in other Gram Panchayats soon.
Divulging the detail of project, Deputy Commissioner Dr Himanshu Aggarwal said that the sanitary gadgets are being installed in the ladies’ section of the CSCs in the villages of Navi Basti Salem Shah, Badha, Chowrianwali and Korianwali of Block Fazilka, Jorki Andewali of Block Arni Wala Sheikh Subhan. With a capacity to hold 50-60 sanitary pads at one time, the automated vending machines can be refilled as and when required.
All a consumer would need to do is insert a Rs.5 coin into the slot of the machine to get a pad. The money that is collected can be used to buy new pads for refill. Also, incinerators have been installed alongside for the safe disposal of menstrual waste.
Having set up these facilities, the important task of training the Gram Panchayat members, Anganwadi and ASHA workers and other stakeholders on the usage of the vending machines and incinerators needed to be done.In order to sensitize community awareness generation camps on Menstrual Hygiene Management were also organized in the villages.
The sessions featured general awareness on menstrual hygiene, the myths associated with menstruation and the proper use of the vending machines and incinerators.Welcoming the initiative, Smt. Simro Bai, Sarpanch said that women can now be assured of clean pads to use and a place to dispose the used pads safely.
On the other hand, Ms. Poonam Dhuria, IEC specialist who had conducted a focused group meeting with the rural women of village Navi Basti Salem Shah said that women were happy with the new installations although it would take some time for them to get used to the system.
Demonstration sessions on the use of the machines were also conducted in all the 5 Blocks of Jalalabad, Fazilka, Arniwala Sheikh Subhan, Abohar and Khuian Sarwar.The Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Punjab (WSS) has been making continuous efforts to reach out to the rural masses and disseminate adequate information about the various components of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase II.
Menstrual Hygiene Management is an integral component of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).DWSS has allocated funds for construction of 1852 community sanitary complexes across the State. Gram panchayats as well as district sanitation teams took active participation and came up with new ideas, constructed different types of community sanitary complexes and beautified them.
Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) and 15th Finance Commission funds as mandated under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) guidelines amounting to Rs. 2.10 lac and Rs. 0.90 lac respectively per CSC are being utilized. The CSCs will strengthen the sanitation infrastructure in the villages and shall also meet the sanitation needs of floating /migrant population, large congregation etc.

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