PUNE: In a bid to ensure hygiene in colleges and hostels, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken a step under the Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat mission by notifying all universities, colleges and institutes to install sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators.
Shreya Divekar, a second-year student of BA Psychology from Fergusson College said, “There were sanitary napkin vending machines available in the college but they were taken down. Currently, there are separate dustbins available for menstrual waste disposal. It will be a nice initiative by the college if they install the said machines in the premises.”
“There are incinerators installed in the College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP), girls hostel and every 4 to 5 days we check the quantity and burn all disposed sanitary napkins. All the girls are instructed about healthy ways of disposing of these napkins,” said rector of the girls’ hostel in CoEP, Amruta Deshpande.
Sir Parshurambhau SP College Principal Dilip Sheth said the college has roped in two NGOs to install incinerators. “Soon there will be sanitary napkin vending machines available as well,” he said.
A student of BJ Medical College, on condition of anonymity, said, “There are two dustbins in each room in the girl’s hostel, one in the toilet and other at the door, so that the girls can dispose of their sanitary napkins separately in the dustbin provided in the toilet. Eventually, it lands up in the common garbage as the cleaner collects it in one bag and that is given away to the PMC waste pickers.”
A student from Abasaheb Garware College of Arts and Science, said, “The college washrooms are in a pathetic condition. There are no dustbins available, nor is there regular water flow in taps.”
“The cleaning of washrooms also happens once in a while. Although there are a few departments where hygiene is maintained as girls complain about it to the management, it is ignored in other parts of the college,” she added.
Muktaja Matkari, Principal of Abasaheb Garware College of Arts and Science told Sakal Times that the college has already installed one incinerator with the help of a local NGO and sent a proposal to get one installed in the hostel as well.
DISPOSAL OF MENSTRUAL WASTE
- UGC has circulated a letter stating that to promote proper disposal of menstrual waste, initiative should be taken in creating awareness to use eco-friendly incinerators and promoting research for a biodegradable alternative.
- As a solution, HLL Lifecare Limited, a public sector enterprise under the administrative control of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has introduced sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators.
- The expenditure incurred can be directly booked under solid waste management component of the Swachh Bharat mission.
- The estimated cost for one set of machinery is Rs 49,646. For more details approach Ministry of Urban Development.