India sets aside money for 288 sanitary pad vending machines for the 8000 women in paramilitary forces


  • The Indian government has started installing sanitary pad dispensers and incinerators for women in CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force).
  • The first of its kind ‘gender sensitive’ Budget sanctioned ₹21 million to install nearly 288 pad vending machines, and an equal number of disposal units for sanitary napkins.
  • The CRPF will also install nearly 800 steel stands for drying clothes, especially for the women personnel.
  • CRPF has over 300,000 personnel — including 8,000 women personnel in the combat.
The Indian government started installing sanitary pad dispensers and incinerators for women in combat, according to a PTI report. Seeded in 2018 during the National Conference for Women in Police, the move aims to create better work conditions for ‘mahila battalions’ in the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force).

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allocated ₹21 million to its ‘gender sensitive’ budget. It aims to install nearly 288 pad vending machines and an equal number of disposal units for sanitary napkins. As many as 8,000 women are a part of India’s paramilitary forces.

In fact, the CRPF will also install nearly 800 steel stands for drying clothes, especially for the women personnel.

The Home Ministry estimates a cumulative cost of nearly ₹300,000 for each sanitary pad vending machine, disposal unit and drying stand. “The sanction will help the force in ensuring better living and operating conditions for the over 8,000 women personnel who are in combat,” the ministry noted in the official sanction orders.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) and CRPF also have plans to introduce women protectors for women in the battalion.

Overall, the CRPF has over 300,000 personnel, including several employed in conflicted or naxal areas of the country such as Jammu and Kashmir.

The ministry also said that the same will be used in other Indian forces as well.

The idea to create a work environment for women in ‘Khaki’ was originated on the sidelines of a study on the issues of health, privacy and challenges faced by women personnel at workplace. The study was conducted by Renuka Mishra, IPS officer and additional director general (ADG) in Uttar Pradesh.

The survey painted a dismal picture of women in police forces and highlighted their struggles to keep up with their jobs. Some of them carry on without drinking water so as to avoid urination as workplaces lack basic necessities. In fact, the women personnel dispose used napkins in a pit.

"The women personnel said it was difficult for them to dry their inner wear due to lack of facilities. Clothes remain damp as they did not dry due to lack of sunlight, and led to urinary tract infections in women," Mishra told news agency PTI.

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