Ensuring menstrual hygiene, especially among school girls in remote areas of Rajasthan, has hit a roadblock due to the lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said officials on Saturday.
The Rajasthan State Child Rights Commission has initiated an inquiry into the matter after the issue was raised by various stakeholders that sanitary pads were not available to girls due to the closure of government schools and aaganwadi centres amid the lockdown.
"The issue has been brought to my notice that sanitary pads are not available to school-going girls in remote areas as schools are closed due to the lockdown. I have asked officials to inquire into the matter and submit a report to take further action," Sangeeta Beniwal, chairperson of Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights told PTI.
The Rajasthan government had launched a sanitary-pads' distribution scheme among school-going girls of the state in respective schools and aaganwadi centres to promote menstrual hygiene.
Experts said almost all districts of the state are facing the same problem and this poses a risk of infection among girls.
"Menstrual hygiene is a big issue and can be ensured if the state government releases directions in this regard to district collectors. The problems is being faced in almost all districts of the state and girls are being forced to use cloth," said Dharamveer Yadav, the state program manager, Child Rights and You (CRY).
He said a few district collectors have issued directions to the Education Department to release the stock under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) so that the sanitary pads are delivered at door steps.
Union Minister Smriti Irani, during a video conference, has directed state authorities to ensure that sanitary pads are made available at grassroots level, he added.
The entire state is under lockdown from March 22 and massive survey and screening is underway to trace the contagion.