Sanitary Pad Dispensers For Women In Combat Soon, Govt Sanctions Funds To CRPF
In a First, the central government has sanctioned Rs 2.1 crore to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to procure and install over 500 sanitary pad dispensers and incinerators for women in combat, among other things. The move is aimed to improve living and operating conditions for over 8,000 women personnel who are in combat.
The Union Home Ministry has also allocated funds to purchase 783 steel frame stands for drying clothes for six ‘Mahila’ battalions, 15 special anti-riot units of the Rapid Action Force and training institutions. The fund expenditure will be taken from the approved budget grant of the force.
The estimated cost for one sanitary pad vending machine is about Rs 2,50,000, a burning machine costs about Rs 40,000 and a cloth drying stand costs about Rs 3,000.
Stating that women troops are deployed across the country for rendering law and order duties, CRPF spokesperson Deputy Inspector General Moses Dhinakaran speaking to the PTI, said, “The sanction will help the force in ensuring better living and operating conditions for the over 8,000 women personnel who are in combat.”
Problems Faced By Woman In Combat
The call for creating a gender-sensitive environment for women in combat was first raised during the ‘National Conference for women in Police’ in 2016.
The issues of health, privacy and challenges being faced by women personnel appointed across the country was highlighted in a study conducted a few years back by Additional director general Renuka Mishra.
The survey revealed that it was extremely difficult for women to dispose of sanitary pads, as men sweepers were reluctant to clean women toilets. Women personnel had to dig pits in their units for disposal of used pads.
The survey pointed out that it was hard for them to find a proper place to wash and dry their clothes, while on the job. Woman personnel, to avoid urination, have to go on long spells without drinking water.
Mishra welcoming the sanction of cloth drying racks to the CRPF said, “The women personnel said it was difficult for them to dry their innerwear due to lack of facilities. Clothes remained damp as they did not dry due to lack of sunlight, and led to urinary tract infections in women.”
It is further expected that similar funds to improve the lives of woman in combat will soon be extended to other forces under the command of the Ministry of Home Affairs.