Kanchanpur – The Krishnapur municipality in Kanchanpur, the district in Province 7, has made arrangements for availing sanitary pads within from schools to adolescent girls during menstruation.
The local government decision aims at encouraging menstruating girls to regularly attend schools, for their convenience during their periods with the availability. Research shows that lack of sanitary pads is one of the reasons forcing girls to miss schools while having periods.
Kanchanpur is among those districts in the far-western Nepal where chhaupadi, the extreme form of seclusion of menstruating women and new mothers, is still pervasive despite its criminalization.
There is a misconception that male suffer harm if they are touched by menstruating women who are considered impure and thus untouchable. Women while in periods are discouraged and sometimes forced not to go to school.
They are barred of touching public taps, visiting religious places, eating nutritious food and forced to stay in isolation. The move of the local government is taken as helpful to encourage girls to attend classes regularly by removing ill practices against women, as stated by municipality mayor Karna Bahadur Hamal.
Research findings are that women and girls mainly of rural areas use pieces of old rags in order to stem the discharge during monthly periods due to lack of awareness and unavailability of sanitary pads and in some cases they cannot afford it.
Thirty four community schools and 27 private schools inside the municipality have started providing sanitary napkins to girl students. The municipality has allocated Rs 100,000 to initiate the project.
Besides, the municipality has come up with provision of free pathology services to pregnant and senior citizens from the local health posts. The provision has been launched from the Raikbar Health Post based in ward-8 and the Krishnapur health post based in ward-5.
The municipality has guaranteed an allowance of Rs 300 each to woman visiting the health post for post-partum health checkups thrice and decided to run two health camps this fiscal year for screen test for cases of uterine-prolapsed. "We are committed to building a health society by making people aware of their health," said the mayor. ---