In a move to provide menstrual hygiene products to underprivileged girls and women, a Mumbai MLA has started a digital sanitary pad bank.
Versova MLA Bharati Lavekar launched the bank on the occasion of World Menstrual Hygiene Day on Sunday.
An initiative of NGO TEE Foundation, of which Lavekar is the President, the platform will bridge the gap between women who are in need of sanitary pads but can't afford them, and citizens willing to donate, DNA reported.
"For a year, the initiative was being processed. Cervical cancer is caused due to usage of unhygienic materials like cloth, tree leaves because of which we need such initiatives to provide sanitary pads to girls and women whenever they need it," Lavekar told the publication.
Veteran actor Zeenat Aman, Bharti Lavekar and social activist Amruta Devendra Fadnavis during the launch; PTI
She also said that they intend to help tribal people and Zilla Parishad schools in the state.
"The government is already providing them sanitary pads free of cost for 10 months which excludes two months of vacations. But if the rural schools register with us, we will provide pads for the two months which are excluded from government," she added.
Those interested in donating funds can go to http://teefoundation.in/donate-pad.php and make their contribution. There's also an address mentioned for those who want to donate sanitary napkins.
Even amid efforts from several sections to break the stigma around periods in the country today, sanitary napkins will continue to be taxed at 12% under the revised GST rates .
This even though sindoor, bangles and bindis have been made tax free.
"Women are being taxed 12 months a year, for about 39 years on a process they have no control over. How is that fair?" Sushmita Dev, a Congress MP from Silchar constituency in Assam who started a petition asking the government to make sanitary napkins tax free, had earlier told The News Minute.