After a two-year long digital campaign by Tezpur-based public health activist Mayuri Bhattacharjee on the plight of women in flood relief camps due to lack of menstrual hygiene products, the Assam government in a latest, declared that sanitary napkins shall be officially included in the list of relief material distribution during floods.
This was possible only because of the immense public support and the 1.3 lakh people who signed the petition titled “Dignity of Floods” on Change.org, says Mayuri Bhattacharjee to a National News Outlet. The petition was launched on 23rd of February 2019 with the story of trauma experienced by a young girl of nagaon.
The Assam state disaster management authority (ASDMA) sent notifications to all the district authorities asking them to include the napkins in the list of relief items from the Gratuitous Relief fund. “The relief materials from the government generally include food grains, pulses, salt, utensils etc — this is the first time sanitary napkins will officially be a part of it,” said Mandira Buragohain, Knowledge Management & Climate Change, ASDMA.
This step taken by the Assam government can be considered as a landmark in disaster management history in our country. The acceptance of sanitary napkins as essential relief item during floods can also be considered as a break through in the existing taboo.