Bihar schoolgirls to get free sanitary napkins

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Patna, June 4: Nearly four million schoolgirls in government-run middle and high schools in Bihar will be provided free sanitary napkins from this year, officials said Wednesday.

"With the state cabinet approving funds (Rs.220 crore) for it Tuesday night, the government will start distribution of sanitary napkins to schoolgirls in the 2014-15 financial year," an official in the Chief Minister's Office told IANS here.

Principal Secretary of Cabinet Coordination Brajesh Mehrotra said the scheme, to be run under the Mukhyamantri Kishori Swasthya Karyakram, will cover girls from Class seven to Class 12.

Last February, then chief minister Nitish Kumar announced the scheme but it was delayed due to the Lok Sabha elections.

Bihar Education Minister Brishen Patel said it will boost girls' education and stem the dropout rate in higher classes. "It will help improve health and hygiene of schoolgirls," he said.

Principal secretary, education department, Amarjit Sinha said: "The department has decided to tie up with local self-help groups to manufacture sanitary napkins."

IANS

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