Written by: Tanvi Mishra (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)
During the current surge of COVID – 19 cases in our country, the whole lot of our health department is busy with the second wave of the pandemic. But, there are certain things which cannot be neglected as per the Karnataka High Court, like the SUCHI scheme. It is a menstrual hygiene project which targets to be implemented for 1706933 adolescent girls of the age 10-19. It is undoubtedly a saviour for the girls, especially those who cannot afford to buy sanitary napkins every month. However, in 2019-20 and 2020-21, the procurement of the napkins did not take place due to the financial constraint.
Recently, the division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice Hanchate Sanjeev Kumar of the Karnataka High Court asked the State government to ensure that this scheme is implemented properly. The bench said that the scheme was brought up for the hygiene and mental health of the school going girls or the girls staying up in their hostel. Another reason for this scheme was to ensure the attendance and improve the academic performance of the girls with the help of it.
Earlier, the State government filed a memo and ensured that the technical committee meeting will help by the end of April 2021 and the approval will be sought by May 2021. But, they failed to do so.
And so, the court directed the State government to have a technical committee meeting before 15 th of June. When the State counsel argued that the meeting was not held as the government officers were not attending the office due to the pandemic, the bench pointed out the fact that though the times are difficult but it is nowadays very easy for people to have such meetings through online mode, sitting at your own house. Justice Nagarathna added that she herself took the classes for judicial officers of the judicial academy at home and it is just a matter of will. The court also directed that the approval for procurement shall be given on or before June 30 and within 90 days thereafter procurement shall be made. Also, it has demanded the State to file a status report on this matter by 1 st July and present it.
The Court reiterated that this scheme needs to be implemented as it is very clear that the purpose of the scheme is to ensure that a girl child does not miss her classes due to the menstrual cycle and when they will be regular with the studies, they will be less stressed out about the things and won’t panic about the missed lectures as there won’t be any, at least due to this cycle which cannot be prevented by any girl. This will also ensure health and most importantly hygiene cannot be maintained in a good way without these sanitary napkins. These directions were given by the Karnataka High Court during the hearing of the petition which was filed by the Anti – Corruption Council of India.