Delhi – Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Ananthkumar announced the launch of ‘Suvidha’, the 100% Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkin, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), here today. The affordable sanitary napkin will be available for Rs. 2.50 per padat over 3200 Janaushadhi Kendrasacross India and would ensure ‘Swachhta, Swasthya and Suvidha’for the underprivileged Women of India. This step taken by the Department of Pharmaceuticals will ensure the achievement of Prime Minster Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of Affordable and Quality Healthcare for All, the Minister said while addressing the media.
Shri Ananthkumar said that this is a special gift for all Women on the occasion of International Woman’s day, as this unique product would ensure Affordability, Hygiene aa well as Ease of use and disposal for them.SUVIDHA napkins would be physically available at all Janaushadhi Kendras in the country by May 28, 2018 – World Menstrual Hygiene Day, the Minister informed.
According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, about 58 percent of women aged between 15 to 24 years use locally prepared napkins, sanitary napkins and tampons. Further, about 78 percent women in urban areas use hygienic methods of protection during menstrual period; only 48 percent women in rural areas have access to clean sanitary napkins.
Shri Ananthkumar said that this is one of the most important requirement in ensuring the Health Security to that section of Women in India who still use unhygienic aids during menstrualperiod due to non-affordability of some of the popular brands of sanitary napkins available in the markettoday. Such unhygienic aids cause fungal infections, Reproductive Tract Infection, Urinary TractInfection, Cervical cancer and also make women vulnerable to infertility. Moreover, the disposal of non-biodegradable sanitary napkins available today creates a huge environmental problem. The 100% biodegradable SUVIDHA napkin would ensure Swachhta, the Minister added.
Addressing the media on the occasion, Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Shri Mansukh Lal Mandaviya explained the term ‘Oxo-biodegradable’ to the media. The Minister said that a special additive is added in the SUVIDHA napkin which makes it biodegradable when it reacts with oxygen after it is used and discarded. Further, Shri Mandaviya said that the average price of sanitary napkins available in the market today is around Rs. 8 per pad, whereas now with the launch of the SUVIDHA napkins at Rs. 2.50 per pad, this will go a long way in making the basic hygiene requirement aid for Women affordable for the underprivileged sections.
Speaking about the supply chain management under the PMBJP scheme, Shri Mandaviya said that the Ministry has been continuously fine-tuning the supply chain and monitoring it through an online tracking software to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential medicines on the PMBJP Kendras across the country. Adding about the success of the mechanism, the Ministersaid that the private sector is studying the Supply Chain Management of the PMBJP scheme today.
Other dignitaries present on the occasion included Shri J.P. Prakash, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Shri Biplab Chatterjee, CEO, Bureau of Pharma Producers in India (BPPI), along with other senior officers of the Ministry.