“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie
In India, less than 20% women use sanitary napkins or pads. Even for urban areas, which are supposedly more educated, literate, and developed, the number only goes up to 52%.
To put things in perspective, 4 out of 5 women in rural India still use clothes or other unorthodox ways to take care of menstrual hygiene. It is now high time to put things in perspective in order to make sanitary health, menstrual hygiene, and sanitary napkins a discussion in the mainstream.
Awareness should be spread out among rural women. It should be treated and emphasized upon with utmost importance to let them know the importance of maintaining sanitary health and hygiene.
Since , almost 90% women in rural India have no availability to affordable or proper sanitary napkins, women often use alternative methods like rag, ash, dust or husk. These methods often result in many infections, STI's and at its worst even uterine cancer.
Another problem in India is the tax bracket of Sanitary Napkins. Pads are kept at a steep rate of 12% GST and labelled under “Luxury Goods". This is ironic considering other items in the luxury bracket include ₹500 cinema tickets or ₹5000 hotel accommodations. In comparison to a 25 rupee packet of 6 napkins which is levied under the topmost GST bracket.
Sanitary napkins for women is as necessary as a toothbrush, petrol or water. Even though we know the current situation of a supposed modern India is adverse. The India which is growing at a fast pace, is simultaneously moving back in the circle of time and is still leaps behind in being developed mentally and psychologically about such basic problems their population faces.