The Stree Swabhiman Yojana (स्त्री स्वाभिमान योजना) was launched to provide an eco-friendly sanitary napkin at an affordable price to adolescent girls and menstruating women in India’s rural areas. The Indian women have been facing a disconcerting challenge of maintaining their sanitary health as Menstrual Hygiene is considered a taboo in India. Women in rural areas face more challenges as they are confined in their homes and depend on their families’ male members to procure sanitary products. The Government of India, through numerous schemes and movements, has been educating women about menstrual hygiene.
About 82 percent of the Indian women are unaware of sanitary napkins’ uses due to poverty, illiteracy, lack of education, and most of the women feel ashamed to buy or throw the sanitary napkins. As per the data, 88 percent of Indian women under mensuration do not have access to sanitary napkins, while more than 90 percent of sanitary napkins are made up of non-biodegradable materials.
To address the issues of maintaining reproductive health and hygiene in rural women, on the 27th of January, 2018 the Union Information Technology and Electronics Ministry have launched Stree Swabhiman Yojana in partnership with the Common Service Centres (CSCs).
Mensuration is a natural phenomenon of a women’s body that is often colored with patriarchal notions that demoralize from discussing mensuration related problems or concerns. According to the National Health Survey 2015-2016, around 336 million women mensurating in India, about 36 percent of them are using locally or commercially produced sanitary pads that are non-biodegradable and harm the environment containing a high amount of plastics. Various voluntary organizations like Aatmnirbhar Sena are laying stress on the need for sustainable alternatives to menstrual napkins. In India, out of 121 million girls and women, they dispose of 21,780 million sanitary napkins per year, posing a serious threat to India’s environment and its waste management system. The diseases caused due to poor menstrual hygiene include Reproductive tract infections, Hepatitis B infections, yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and cervical cancer. Thus, Stree Swabhiman Yojana is the most appreciated step towards securing the health of uninformed women in rural areas.
According to the 2011 census, about 89 percent of India’s rural women are devoid of toilets or face unclean lavatory facilities that affect the health of Indian rural women. For ages, Indian women have been using rags and clothes to counter the menstrual cycle that leads to various reproductive and bacterial infections. At the same time, only 12 percent of Indian women are capable of affording sanitary napkins. Even if they are in a setting to afford it, around 433 million sanitary pads are discarded per month in India, ending up in the landfills or sewage.
Following are the features of Stree Swabhiman Yojana-
The objectives of the scheme are mentioned below-
Following are the procedure to apply online for the Stree Swabhiman Yojana-
Step 1- For applying under the scheme, visit the official website of the Stree Swabhiman Yojana that is- streeswabhiman.in
Step 2- Click on the ”Police Verification Form Format” option on the home page.
Step 3- Fill and verify the form after downloading and then verify it to the nearest police station.
Step 4- An application Form Page will be displayed on the screen after clicking on the process of registration
Step 5- Fill the Aadhar Card Number.
Step 6- Authenticate the Aadhar Card Number for registration via eKYC.
Step 7- Fill the required information.
Step 8- Upload the required documents along with photo and police verification document.
Step 9- Click on the ”Submit” button and complete the registration process.
Following are the login procedure for Stree Swabhiman Yojana-
Step 1- Visit the official website of the Stree Swabhiman Yojana that is- streeswabhiman.in
Step 2- Click on ”Log in” on the homepage of the Stree Swabhiman Yojana
Step 3- Enter the username and password
Step 4- Click on the ”Login” button
Following are the documents required for the Stree Swabhiman Yojana-
The Stree Swabhiman Yojana aims to train and establish a Sanitary napkin unit for women and girls to support women entrepreneurs at village level and the Self-Help Groups SHGs and assist in promoting menstrual hygiene.
The Stree Swabhiman Yojana aims to provide a livelihood to around 35,000 women and develop their entrepreneur venture at the Customer Service Centre. The sale of sanitary napkins will be made under the local brand names and its marketing will be conducted by VLEs. The main aim of the Stree Swabhman Yojana is to increase the use of the sanitary napkin in rural areas and make them available in schools and colleges at affordable price.
The village-level women entrepreneurs will be installed, tested, and trained by the CSC SPV. Following are the main features of the sanitary napkins manufacturing facility unit-
The Stree Swabhiman Yojana is a great initiative by the Government of India to empower rural women entrepreneurs and provide sanitary napkins at CSC centers. It also aims to educate rural women to overcome social taboo by encouraging them to use more eco-friendly sanitary napkins by establishing a manufacturing unit. This scheme is a step towards the ambitious Swacchh Bharat Abhiyan of our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. The concept behind launching the Stree Swabhiman Yojana is to make the rural and semi-rural women self-reliant and create a healthy, eco-friendly, sustainable development.
Since the Indian girls have been facing various challenges in terms of sanitation and hygiene due to poor maintenance of public toilets as a result of which most of the girls miss on an average 4 days of school and colleges every month that led to a lag in their studies and a high drop out rates of girls in schools and colleges. The funds under Stree Swabhiman Yojana has been raised by CSC SPV to make available the sanitary napkins to the girls in the rural areas.
The women entrepreneurs will be responsible for dispersing sanitary pads to around 1,000 girls in their village communities’ primary and secondary schools, covering girls from 7th grade to 12th standard under the Stree Swabhiman Yojana. Through the scheme, the women entrepreneurs will organize pieces of training and sessions and educate girls about menstrual and hygiene-related issues together with the female staff and teachers in such schools. The Stree Swabhiman Yojana is a great vision of the Government of India to address the issues of rural India, to empower women, and as the name of this scheme itself suggests, to raise the self-esteem of all rural women and girl residing in India.