Lucknow: Unicef, the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation and railway authorities have signed an agreement to install 250 sanitary napkin vending machines at bus and railway stations across 75 districts in the state.
Agriculture Production Commissioner Pravir Kumar termed the agreement a major initiative towards promoting hygiene and cleanliness for women.
As per the agreement, Unicef has decided to install the vending machines beside ladies toilets at every bus and railway station in the state. The machines will be linked with Aadhar cards and will be available round-the-clock.
Pravir Kumar said the main objective of the agreement is to dispel the widespread misconception associated with menstruation in society and make sanitary napkins easily available to adolescent girls and women.
While travelling, women can easily procure a sanitary napkin from the vending machines and need not wander in search of shops, Mr Kumar said.
“The unique feature of this agreement is that the vending machines will be linked with Aadhar cards,” he said. “The last six-digit number of an Aadhar card will serve as the pin through which one can easily procure a sanitary napkin. The service will be available 24 hours.”
Bus stops and railway stations of 75 districts will be provided with the vending machines within the next 18 months. The installation work will be completed in three phases, he said.
In the first phase, 70 machines will be installed in 50 bus and railway stations in 20 districts of the state.
In the second phase, 70 bus and railway stations of 25 districts will have 90 vending machines.
In the third phase, 80 bus and railway stations of the remaining 30 districts will have 90 machines.
Mr Kumar said the transport department is to provide facilities like place, electricity and wi-fi connection at bus stations for the installation of the vending machines. Two experts will be hired to guard and manage the working of the machines.