Featured in The Times Of India
TRICHY: As part of observing the world menstrual hygiene day on May 28, an array of awareness programmes will be hosted in Trichy to address the taboo associated with menstruation. But, in reality little is discussed about creating a supportive environment at workplace for women during their periods. While the city colleges, particularly women colleges, fair better in menstrual hygiene by providing better disposal mechanism, most of the schools here are lagging well behind in providing safe sanitary infrastructure as well as creating an environment to educate and discuss menstrual hygiene.
Though there are no incinerators to dispose of sanitary napkins, a majority of the city’s IT and ITeS firms with significant women employees at least provide a bin at women restrooms. However, such basic arrangements are amiss in small and medium level private firms as well as in government offices. “In the absence of bins in washrooms, women employees tend to dispose of the napkins in toilets. This cause blockage in sewer lines, making wastewater to overflow on roads,” M Subburaman, managing director, Scope NGO said.
Corporation sources said that even residential apartments fail to dispose of the sanitary napkins safely, causing line blocks in sewers frequently. Complaints are abundant that even the government offices fail to provide bins at women washrooms. The condition is same in most of the women hostels in city too. On the contrary, city colleges fair better in providing menstrual friendly atmosphere.
As girl students spend around 8 hours in schools, they are forced to wear sanitary pads until they reach home. City’s schools either don’t have incinerators or have faulty incinerators, forcing girls to undergo the ordeal. “The napkins are supposed to be replaced once in 4 hours a day but the girls have to wear napkins for around 8-9 hours at schools. It leads to health complications,” said, Sugantha Priscilla, senior specialist in Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS). Though Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund can be utilized to provide sanitary napkin vending machines at government and government-aided school, the option is not yet utilized. Stakeholders said that government and private institutes should work together to ensure a healthy environment for girls and women.