Sanitary pad in a box at Nepal Rastriya Basic School in Huama village of Rolpa. Photo: Republica
ROLPA, Jan 2: Nepal Rastriya Basic School in Huama village of Rolpa has started providing free sanitary pads since a few weeks. The pads are kept in a sanitary box hung in the school's toilet.
The pads have been managed by the school with support from some NGOs including HURAC (Human Rights Awareness Centre) and Save the Children. According to the school, it has spent Rs 3000 to buy pads. This move has been taken as a great leap forward to making girl children bold and empowered.
"We have noticed a significant drop in the rate absence of female students during menstruation. We believe that the distribution of sanitary pads and better atmosphere for them at school has brought about this result," said the school principal Hukum Prashad Acharya. "We are looking forward to making the school even more children-friendly," he added.
The school has been gearing up to add some infrastructures and furniture, according to principal Acharya. For this, the school has sought support from the local government.
"We have over 200 children, but we have not been able to ensure quality infrastructures as well as furniture. We are seeking help from the local level," Acharya stated. "After introducing free-of-cost pad distribution for female children, the result has encouraged us to work in many other frontiers. Even a little change can make a huge difference," he added.
The school runs classes till eighth grade and has 99 female students and 105 male students. After the girl-friendly latrine initiation, female students have been far more regular at school, as per the school management.
Sharmila Bantha is a student who used to stay at home during menstruation earlier. These days, she feels like coming to school. “Earlier, I felt like skipping classes during my periods. Now, I feel far more comfortable. It's not just about free pad, but also about the changed attitude of the school," she remarked.
Another student from grade eight, Chij Maya Pun also expressed her happiness over the recent development.