The nine prisons across Maharashtra have set up sanitary napkin dispensal and disposal machines on its premises.
The Maharashtra State Commission for Women, as part of a pilot project, has installed nine vending and disposal machines, which will destroy the used napkins by burning them. The facility, which will benefit 1,023 women prisoners, is available at the prisons in Yerawada, Thane, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Amravati, Kalyan, Byculla and Chandrapur.
Currently, each prisoner is provided with eight sanitary napkins every month. Those who require more, can purchase them from jail authorities. Following the death of a prisoner, Manjula Shetye, in Byculla prison, Mumbai, the women commission had reviewed the health, security, facilities, and nutrition support provided to female prisoners.
In an attempt to provide better facilities to women during menstruation, chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar took the decision to install vending machines, said an official with the Commission.
“We have allowed prison authorities to decide how inmates can access sanitary napkins through machines. They will start a token system or fix certain amount to buy the pads,” the official added.
Each vending machine has the capacity to store 20-60 napkins, depending on their size and prison requirements.