Many Delhi University colleges are period insensitive and provide sanitary napkins at irrationally high prices.
Hygiene issues in Delhi University is an ongoing problem. Stories of dirty and unusable washrooms in older colleges arise every day. Even though, many colleges have renovated and built new washroom facilities, disappointing incidents of lack of Sanitary Napkin facilities in colleges are observed.
Sanjana a student of Gargi College said “Health and education being primary features of development, providing the students with good and cheap medical facilities need to be a part of basic college infrastructure and not installing the vending machines and being charged 10 bucks for a pad, which are as basic as band aids is not acceptable.” Many students also reported that the medical room was closed when they had gone to buy Sanitary Napkins. Ramjas and Kamla Nehru Colleges both have only one vending machine each. According to a source in Ramjas, even though the machine situated in the Ground Common Room is functioning, the problem of menstrual hygiene is far deeper there because of lack of water supply in the girl’s washroom which makes it extremely unsanitary. While, the vending machine in Kamla Nehru College doesn’t even work.
According to a source, incidents of period insensitivity have occurred in Lady Shri Ram College where even despite having vending machine a girl was unable to purchase the pad since she did not have appropriate change and the nurse did not let her borrow some by saying that the girl herself should have kept a note of her cycle and not land in such a situation. Such comments depict the problematic approach of people to menstruation and how it is still not an acceptable and widely discussed issue.
Though, all hope is not lost, vending machines which sell pads for 5 rupees were installed in Daulat Ram College last semester as a result of prolonged and continuous student protest. Miranda House and Sri Venkateshwara College are also equipped with similar machines to provide pads. Working along these lines Shaheed Sukhdev College of Commerce and Hansraj College have also installed one vending machine each which are fully functional. These are examples of forms of healthy development towards a period friendly future for girls at Delhi University.
Image Credits: India mart