Bhubaneswar: As part of its initiatives to empower women, the Odisha government today launched a scheme to provide free sanitary napkins to school girls across the state.
The scheme will be implemented by the health and family welfare department of the state at a cost of 70 crore per year, a senior government official said.
"In continuation with our pro-women initiatives, I am happy to announce the scheme 'KHUSHI'. Under the scheme, the state will provide free sanitary napkins to 17 lakh girls studying in Classes 6 to 12 in government and government-aided schools," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters.
In addition to school-going girls, the Biju Janata Dal government will also provide napkins to women in rural communities at subsidized rates, he said.
"I am sure this step will go a long way in promoting health and hygiene among adolescent girls and lead to higher retention in schools," the Chief Minister said.
Highlighting his government's pro-women schemes such as Mission Shakti and Mamata, Mr Patnaik said women have always been the focal point of development projects.