In India, women have dealt with the stigma of menstrual hygiene and questions about sanitary pads for a long time. However, things have begun to change. An India-based documentary on menstruation, Period. End Of Sentence, won an Oscar recently and made headlines for starting a dialogue about periods. Now a day before International Women's Day, Vistara Airlines has announced that it will now provide sanitary pads to women travellers on request, tomorrow onwards.
Vistara Airlines announced their #PadsOnBoard initiative, which makes it the first Indian airline to offer sanitary pads on flights within India. One of the members of the airline said, "Vistara's cabin crew will make in-flight announcements on all flights to create awareness among travellers that sanitary pads are now available onboard for customers to freely ask for it if they need it."
A recent post on Vistara's official social media account confirmed, "This #InternationalWomensDay, Vistara is proud to be India's first airline to provide sanitary pads aboard all domestic flights, starting 8th March '19. These pads are organic & bio-degradable."
Last year, East Coast Railway (ECoR) had also announced the installation of automatic sanitary napkin vending machines in all trains originating from its jurisdiction. The price of a sanitary napkin is kept as low as Rs 5 and passengers can get them by inserting from the vending machines. These machines that can vend 75 pads at a time, were to be installed in 90 compartments of 63 trains.
These small changes to improve menstrual hygiene for women can certainly go a long way and make travelling easier for women. It's one step forward in the right direction and we hope that soon period is not a word that's said in a whisper, and Whisper is not something we get in a black plastic bag.
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