Lockdown due to coronavirus all over India has made it difficult to fulfill the basic hygiene requirements! In India, the extension of lockdown had a severe impact on the accessibility to these hygiene products. Due to this reason, it is getting difficult for women to sustain their hygiene in secrecy and dignity.
How exactly is the government resolving this situation??
The government of India, consisting of both central and states, along with several NGO’s is trying their level best to create awareness about the importance of maintaining menstrual hygiene. They have also tried imparting some safe practices, especially among adolescent girls who need to let about these practices to avoid unfortunate diseases. It is important to teach these safe hygiene practices into young girls to help them for getting afflicted with disastrous diseases caused due to poor menstrual hygiene.
Owing to the efforts made by the government, many subsidies got enacted regarding free supply to sanitary napkins to the girls living in rural areas or to those who cannot afford these napkins. The government has tried to
- Low-cost variants have been efficiently made available through local production
- Free distribution
- subsidized prices.
The government is seeing its efforts ripe as a fruit for the past few decades. Women all over India have started accepting and using more hygienic and safe practices.
But due to the lockdown and high price rise in some areas, women have been necessarily forced to adopt their old ways of dealing with menstruation. Due to unavailability and access to the hygiene maintaining products, girls are adopting various Orthodox methods:
- Same menstrual napkin used for a prolonged duration.
- Using old clothes and rags instead of napkins
What about using the Reusable sanitary napkins?
Due to unhygienic conditions, women develop urinary tract infections. The scarcity of water also has eliminated the usage of reusable napkins. These napkins need to be thoroughly washed and dried before second use. The scarcity of water is not the only obstruction in the usage of reusable napkins but also plays a key role in the cleaning process. This problem often doesn’t allow women to clean and sanitizer themselves as often as they should.
In normal conditions, when women have RTIs, they would avoid going to doctors in rural areas. With other health assistance halted and the health workers engaged in the ongoing pandemic response actions, RTI symptoms resulting from poor menstrual hygiene go unaddressed. Hence, some actions should take place to give these women access to hygiene essentials.
How to resolve the hygiene crisis?
Following steps can help the women suffering from such conditions:
- Necessary ease can be easily laid on essential menstrual products through the public and private sectors. Large-scale producers of sanitary napkins should facilitate the supply to local shops and medical stores. They can also facilitate the supply across various states.
- The manufacturers can ensure that commercial prices are well within MRP. The girls and women who are incapable of accessing the disposable sanitary pads have initiated making homemade pads at home. This, in a way, is critical if they don’t follow the correct procedure to make it! There are a number of organizations like Jatan Sansthan who give guidelines to pads at home under hygienic conditions.
- Quarantine facilities should have isolated facilities, especially for women. They must provide underwear and sanitary napkins to the females.
In times of such catastrophe, often compromises with hygiene and the health of women is recklessly made. These compromises can lead to uncertain diseases leading to even her death! Thus it becomes important to take some actions for a woman’s dignity and rights.