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GEHLOT PADS UP FOR WOMEN PRIDE

In last two months, the life of Bhoori Devi, a daily wager in Tijara, Alwar has changed. Every month during her menstruation days, she would have tough time managing the bleeding. But now, she doesn’t have to look for an age-old unhygienic practice of using old clothes or dirty rags to manage menstrual flow. She simply visits a nearby Aanganwadi Kendra and easily gets sanitary pads free of cost. This may not have reduced her menstrual pains but certainly has prevented any suspected infection which she could have got through those dirty rags.

Bhoori is not the only one who is benefitting from one of its kind ‘I am Shakti Udaan Scheme’ launched by Gehlot government for providing free sanitary napkins to over 1.25 crore menstruating population of the state. This Rs 200-crore unique initiative is aimed at ensuring proper hygiene, period protection and reproductive well-being of women.

“Every woman has the right to access period protection. As a sensitive government, we feel their pain. We need to secure the reproductive health of women who give birth to our future generations,” said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

The recently released National Family Health Survey states that 62 per cent of the women in the country are unaware of period hygiene and 24 per cent of adolescent girl students mark their absence from school during periods.

The survey also reveals that only 57 per cent women in the country have access to sanitary napkins, increasing the risk of grave gynaecological diseases in women not observing good menstrual hygiene.

Gehlot’s Udaan scheme is now all set to pad up the dignity of every women in the state.

It’s really touching to see a man resolving our problem. We have seen woman chief minister in the past. But neither she nor anyone else felt our pain. We will always be indebted to Gehlot Sahab for providing us with the cover of respect,” said Imarti Devi, a sanitation worker in Jhunjhunu.

Lali Jatav from Bharatpur hails Gehlot as an angel.
“I was suffering from severe infection in uterus. The doctor told me that this was due to using damp clothes and leaves during the periods. We don’t have the money to meet the basic needs. How can we buy pads? But now with free 12 sanitary pads every month available I am not scared anymore. My two daughters, who will soon enter puberty, will not suffer the agony I underwent,” she said.

THE SCHEME
Known for rolling out innovative health schemes in his tenure, Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, on December 19, 2021, launched “I am Shakti Udaan” Scheme, directly touching the lives of millions of young women with the reproductive cycle. The launch also marked successful completion of the Congress government, which has been hailed across the country for its effective management of the Corona pandemic, ensuring minimum damage to the economy and overall well-being of citizens.

In the first phase, 26 lakh girls will be benefited through this scheme that will provide 12 napkins a month free of cost to each girl in Senior Secondary, Secondary and Higher Secondary schools.

In rural areas, 1,412 Anganwadi centres in 282 blocks of villages would distribute sanitary napkins to 3 lakh adolescent girls and women in the 18-45 age group, benefiting 29 lakh women and girls.

The women and child department is the nodal agency for implementation of this scheme which will ensure pink health of women in the state. The distribution of these napkins will also be through self-help groups which will be trained to manufacture these napkins and sell, market and distribute them to the target groups. Apart from that, the government will also partner with NGOs for spreading awareness about women’s health.

“Like food grains, which are the basis of life, sanitary pad is the basic need for every woman. The government should also distribute sanitary napkins through neighbourhood ration shops for easy accessibility. The way families go to the ration shops for their monthly quotas of food grains, they can also get their monthly supply of napkins,” said Rachna Siddha, a social worker, who has been working towards women literacy and their overall well- being for last three decades.

GEHLOT - THE TRENDSETTER
Like every health scheme of Gehlot, ‘I am Shakti Udaan’ also has the potential to become trendsetter in the country. During his first term as the Chief Minister (1998-2003), Gehlot introduced free treatment, including surgeries, for poor families which was later replicated in many states. During his second tenure in 2011, he launched a revolutionary scheme-- free medicines for all. This scheme became a case study for the entire country and the BJP government at the centre adopted this scheme.

During his current tenure, Gehlot has expanded his horizon and launched state-sponsored Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme, universalising the healthcare in the state. The scheme provides free health insurance cover up to Rs 10 lakh for the beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act, small and marginal farmers, contract workers and poor families. All beneficiaries will be entitled to cashless hospitalisation in 1,092 government hospitals and 336 private ones in the state.

This is way better than the Central Governmentrun Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) which also provides a cover of Rs 5 lakh, but only for 40 per cent of the State’s population.

“Now the Udaan Scheme will take off and cover great distance. If other states also adopt this scheme, the problem of unhygienic period protection will be resolved for good,” said Dr Arti Bagotia, a medical practitioner engaged in healthcare of poor women.

I AM SHAKTI UDAAN SCHEME- TOUCHING LIVES OF MILLIONS

  • Like every health scheme of CM Ashok Gehlot Gehlot, ‘I am Shakti Udaan’ also has the potential to become trendsetter in the country. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, on December 19, 2021, launched “I am Shakti Udaan” Scheme, directly touching the lives of millions of young women with the reproductive cycle.
  • ‘I am Shakti Udaan Scheme’ has been launched by Gehlot government to provide free sanitary napkins to over 1.25 crore menstruating population of the State.
  • This Rs 200-crore unique initiative is aimed at ensuring proper hygiene, period protection and reproductive well-being of women.
  • In the fi rst phase, 26 lakh girls will be benefi ted through this scheme that will provide 12 napkins a month free of cost to each girl in Senior Secondary, Secondary and Higher Secondary schools.
  • In rural areas, 1,412 Anganwadi centres in 282 blocks of villages would distribute sanitary napkins to 3 lakh adolescent girls and women in the 18-45 age group, benefi ting 29 lakh women and girls.
  • The distribution of these napkins will also be through Self-Help Groups which will be trained to manufacture these napkins and sell, market and distribute them to the target groups.

NATIONAL FAMILY HEALTH SURVEY

  • The recently released National Family Health Survey states that 62 per cent of the women in the country are unaware of period hygiene and 24 per cent of adolescent girl students mark their absence from school during periods.
  • The survey also reveals that only 57 per cent women in the country have access to sanitary napkins, increasing the risk of grave gynaecological diseases in women not observing good menstrual hygiene.

Every woman has the right to access period protection. As a sensitive government, we feel their pain. We need to secure the reproductive health of women who give birth to our future generations. — Ashok Gehlot, CM

It’s really touching to see a man resolving our problem. We have seen woman Chief Minister in the past. But neither she nor anyone else felt our pain. We will always be indebted to Gehlot Sahab for providing us with the cover of respect.  Imarti Devi, Sanitation Worker

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