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Activists urge Himanta Biswa Sarma to include sanitary pads in flood relief kit
GUWAHATI | AUG 22, 2020:
A group of women's rights activists, led by Mayuri Bhattacharjee from Tezpur, has urged state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to include sanitary pads in the list of flood-relief items that are provided to the occupants of shelter homes.
To grab the minister's attention, the activists sent him a box of 300 sanitary pads.
"A box containing pads and hygiene kits has been delivered to the minister's office to urge him to include menstrual hygiene products in the list of essential relief materials provided by the government to flood shelters," Bhattacharjee said.
Apart from the pads, the box also contained hand sanitizers, bathing soaps, detergent powder, bleaching powder, phenyl, a mosquito coil, a pair of underwear, and a face mask.
Bhattacharjee took up the cause in the form of an online petition on change.org. She managed to convince 72,000 supporters of her petition to order eco-friendly sanitary pads online and mail them to the minister.
The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), on Friday, stated that over 56.9 lakh people have been affected in 30 districts of Assam due to floods.
"Girls of Assam are victims of floods every year and with no access to sanitary pads at flood relief shelters, they face great difficulty while dealing with their periods. Some of them are even forced to bleed on their clothes. Women go through a nightmare of unhygienic periods during the floods. This year is even worse because of the pandemic," Mayuri said.
"On Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the importance of women's hygiene and sanitary napkins. The Assam government should pay heed to the PM's message," she added.