New Delhi: Western Railway recently installed a sanitary pad dispenser in the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express in an effort being hailed by women passengers. While the machine has been installed on trial basis, theire is a strong possibility of such dispensers being installed in several other trains as well.
The dispenser was installed in the Rajdhani to add to the convenience of women passengers at a time when the government is trying to promote and secure women's well-being and health. The train became the first in the country with such a machine. "It is useful for women passengers in long-distance train journeys. We will extend this plan in other trains as well," Western Railways Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar told news agency ANI. "This is the first train in India in which a sanitary pad dispensation machine has been installed."
In a country where studies like one carried out by The Neilson Company and NGO Plan India have shown that almost 88 per cent of Indian women do not use or do not have access to sanitary pads, the decision to install vending machines on a train can indeed be a big boon. While each pad in the vending machine costs Rs 5, the government - on International Women's Day - also launched biodegradable sanitary napkins at Rs 2.50 per pad.