Free Sanitary Pads To Girl Students If Voted To Power, Promises Congress Leader In Gujarat

| December 7 , 2017 , 12:00 IST

The Congress party has been making full efforts to woo the public and make a return to power in Gujarat where it last formed a government 22 years ago.

All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev in Vadodara on Wednesday announced that if voted to power in Gujarat, the Congress will provide sanitary napkins to girl students of schools and colleges in the state free of cost.

Slamming the Narendra Modi government for imposing a 12 percent GST on sanitary napkins, Dev said that the high taxation bracket "runs contrary" to the government’s “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” campaign for girls.

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"Imposition of 12% GST on sanitary napkins is a big shocker for poor girls and women. The Modi government did not slash the tax (on sanitary napkins) despite demands raised by various NGOs and women’s group though it reduced the tax on other items,” Dev said, addressing reporters.

"At one end, the government is promoting healthier menstrual hygiene practices among girls and women while on the other hand they are increasing the cost of sanitary napkins,” said Dev, who represents Silchar seat in Assam.

Dev said that imposing a 12 percent GST on sanitary napkins is a "regressive move in the menstrual health discourse" which will take a toll on health of poor girls and women.

She further linked the "rising girls school dropout ratio in Gujarat" with costlier sanitary pads.

“I am afraid that higher price (of sanitary pads) on account of GST might push girls back to adopting unhygienic menstrual practices,” the Congress leader said.