‘Breaking Barriers’, a novel initiative focusing on girls’ health and hygiene, was inaugurated by Hibi Eden MLA at the Government Higher Secondary School for Girls, Ernakulam, on Friday.
Sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators worth Rs 98,000 will be installed at 25 schools and colleges in the city as part of the project.
Government schools will be given priority. Cine artist Revathy inaugurated the function. Additional Director General of Police R Sreelekha was the guest of honour.
“It was brought to my notice that girls face a lot of issues at school, especially the non-availability of sanitary napkins. Through this project, we hope to make these basic facilities available for them. The project will be expanded to other schools and colleges in a month’s time,” Hibi Eden said.
“People talk about India’s past. But it is time to examine the country’s present situation. Are women more secure, safe and healthy now? Are they given the required treatment and care they deserve? Women should learn to be responsible for their hygiene and health. Projects like ‘Breaking Barriers’ are the stepping stones for the wellbeing of young girls,” Revathy said.
Praising the project, Sreelekha said: “Restrictions are imposed on a girl child from a very young age. Girls should break these barriers and be self-confident.”
The Ernakulam Social Service Society is the implementing agency of the Breaking Barriers project.
Sponsors Bharat Petroleum Corporation has offered Rs 25 lakh. Each vending machine will have a capacity to load 40 napkins.
The operation of the machines will be controlled by the school authority.
Educational institutions like Maharaja’s College, Government Law College, SH College, St Albert’s College, St Albert’s TTI, Ernakulam Government Girls Higher Secondary School, St Joseph’s BEd college, Thevera SH HSS, Perumanoor St Thomas Girls HS, Elamakkara Government HSS, South Chittoor SBOA School, St Teresa’s HSS, Ernakulam St Mary’s HSS, Kacheripady St Antony’s HSS, Pullepady Darul Uloom HSS, Kaloor Greets Public School, Elamakkara Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Ayyappankavu SN HSS, Pachalam LMCC HSS, Vaduthala Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Vaduthala Don Bosco School, Kaloor ACS HSS, Kaloor Seventh Day HSS and North Edappally Government HSS will get the facilities.
Journalist Sindhu Suryakumar and Deputy Mayor B Bhadra spoke during the event. BPCL Executive Director Prasad K Panicker was also present.