New Delhi, May 29 : The Mahila Congress on Friday said it will distribute 25 lakh personal hygiene kits in Shramik Special trains ferrying migrants labourers to their native states as well as railway stations across the country.
Each hygiene kit with a sanitary napkin and a soap in a disposable bag will be distributed by the women's wing of the opposition Congress under its 'Garima' campaign to empower women to manage menstruation safely, hygienically, with confidence and without shame.
"The migrant crisis is worsening by each passing day. The disturbing visuals of the migrant workers on the roads on way to their native places are a chilling testimony to our insensitivity towards their plight. At the centre of this huge crisis are women and the apathy towards their needs is shocking," Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev said in a statement here.
When the nationwide lockdown was imposed across the country from March 24 midnight, a list of essential items was released by the government of India, which did not mention sanitary napkins explicitly.
The opposition party alleged that it was only after criticism from various quarters that the Women and Child Development Ministry presented an updated list of essential items that included sanitary products.
"This delay in decision is a reflection of the government apathy towards women's health. Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani mentioned that sanitary napkins are now available at Jan Aushadhi Kendras at reduced prices, but the point is when women are standing in queues for 12-18 hours for medical screening before rail travels, at quarantine centres, or on roads, how can they acess sanitary napkins at the Jan Aushadhi Kendras," the Mahila Congress asked.
It said so far 4-5 lakh sanitary napkins have been distributed to women who did not have access to the personal hygiene product.