Unavailability of sanitary pads, absence of separate toilets for girls and lack of water in toilets reflect on the attendance of girls in schools and colleges. Surveys have claimed that nearly 20 to 30 per cent of girls in North India dropped out of schools after they started menstruating.
While talking about menstrual hygiene remains a taboo in the country, the 'bold step' of installing an automated sanitary vending machine for its students has been taken by one of the prestigious and oldest women's colleges the Avadh Girl's Degree College under Lucknow University.
"We installed the machine around a week back and response from the students is very good," AGDC Manager Nishi Pandey told the media. "In fact we are also considering to install a disposal machine as well, as the pads are not disposed of hygienically," she added.

In north India, over 30 per cent of girls interviewed said they dropped out of school after they started menstruating, says a study by AC Nielsen on 'Sanitary Protection: Every Woman's Health Right'.
Inadequate menstrual protection makes adolescent girls (age group 12-18 years) miss five days of school in a month (50 days a year). Around 23 per cent of these girls actually drop out of school after they started menstruating.
Only 12 percent of Indian women use sanitary napkins while others are at risk of health problems.
The UP government had last year decided to distribute sanitary napkins free of cost to girls studying in government schools from class 6 to class 12 at a cost of Rs 19.74 crore to the state exchequer.
Earlier this year, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had directed all the district magistrates in the state to ensure steps for addressing menstrual hygiene issues and asked them to promote manufacture and distribution of low cost sanitary napkins in their respective districts.
In a letter addressed to Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan, the Chief Minister instructed that since the matter was associated with health, dignity and empowerment of women, it should be taken seriously at all levels.



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