Launch of GARIMA-II, in association with Sulabh International
The inaugural phase of the initiative of providing sanitary napkins to girl students of 28 senior secondary schools of Sikkim was launched in 2016 in which Sulabh International had lent a helping hand. It is a matter of pride for Sikkim that the phase-I of this programme has been remarkably successful. In fact, Sikkim is the first state in India that has taken the project of providing sanitary napkins to school girls seriously and on a large scale.
The second phase of the GARIMA project has been launched by Minster of Human Resources Development RB Subba, he was joined by eminent Sociologist Dr Bindeshwar Pathak founder, Sulabh International Social Service Organisation.
Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, as the Guest of Honour, attended the launch of Phase-II of the Project which provides sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators to the girl students of 30 schools in Sikkim, in a function organised in Gangtok. The Project is funded by Sulabh International Social Service Organisation and other companies under the CSR initiative.
Minister RB Subba thanked Dr Pathak for initiating the phase GARIMA-2 for installing Vending machines and destroyer (waste) for girls in schools. Minister said, “The project GARIMA is meant to provide a dignified way of dealing with an essential biological process faced by adolescent girls every month.”
It empowers them to attend school and participate in the day to day activities. It has a very positive impact as proved by phase-1 started in 2016 in 28 senior secondary schools.
“This is a very welcome move. Our girls indeed get benefitted from this move, as the easy availability of sanitary napkins in schools, where they spend a lot of time, not only ensures their menstrual hygiene, but they also get more keenly attentive to the issues of health and hygiene when they get educated about it in their classrooms. In my view, sanitary napkin vending machines should be made available at all public places, educational institutions and offices where girls and women work or study”, said Dr Pathak while expressing his gratitude to GP Upadhyaya, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Principal Secretary, Government of Sikkim, and other concerned authorities and officials for graciously inviting him to the event.
“As the leader of the Sulabh Sanitation movement, I promise here that Sulabh will try its level best to make available sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators to all public spaces, market areas and railway stations, etc., where we have set up our public toilets. Making available sanitary napkin is an integral part of ensuring a woman’s health and hygiene, and the small but picturesque state of Sikkim has set an inspiring example in this regard for the rest of India to follow.”
“I am also happy to inform you that Sulabh has set up a School Sanitation Club where, apart from other activities, the school girls are taught to make sanitary napkins using simple materials. The Club has also installed a vending machine, where sanitary napkins are available. Incinerators have also been installed for safe disposal of sanitary napkins. So far 260 clubs in 12 States of India and clubs in Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and South Africa have been set up. About 6,500 schoolchildren in more than 250 schools have been trained in school sanitation and hygiene education, including menstrual health. Elder students have taken on the responsibility of mentoring younger children, helping them to lead a healthy and hygienic life. The club members also organise cultural events in which they enact skits and sing songs concerning issues related to hygiene and sanitation.”
The occasion was graced by Hundala Gyaltsen Bhutia, Director, HRD Department, Government of Sikkim, K Inbaraj, Joint Director, HRD Department, Government of Sikkim, OT Lepcha, Advisor, HRD Department, Government of Sikkim and Alok Kumar Shrivastava, Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim, along with a large number of state officials, principals, teachers and young students who added gravitas to the public-spirited programme.
The project GARIMA-2 has been funded by Alkem Lab, Canara Bank and Sibbin group,under their Corporate Social Responsibility. Sulabh International and Sulabh School Sanitation Club have given the Sanitary Napkin Vending machines to schools.
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