In the budget announcement for the year 2021-22, Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot had announced to provide sanitary napkins to adolescent girls, keeping their health and hygiene in mind. In pursuance of which, ‘I Am Shakti Udaan Yojana‘ was launched on 19th December,2021 on the anniversary of the completion of three years of the Government of Rajasthan. The objective of this scheme was to distribute sanitary napkins, free of cost, in all the districts of the state, especially in rural areas. Through this scheme, the state government distributed more than 3.60 crore sanitary pads to women, in just one month of its launch.
The first phase of this scheme was started for more than 1.20 crore women of the state along with about 26 lakh girl students studying in secondary and senior-secondary schools of the state benefited. At the same time, under this scheme, about 3 lakh adolescent girls and women in the age group of 18-45 years received free sanitary pads in 1410 Anganwadi centers in rural areas. In the first phase, 29 lakh women were given 12 sanitary pads every month. Women will be added in a phased manner in the next phase starting from March. Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot allocated Rs 200 crore to the Women and Child Development Department to provide free sanitary napkins to lakhs of women of the state in their respective areas. He emphasized that women should be made aware of cleanliness and hygiene, for which there will be no shortage of funds from their side. This project is an ambitious program of Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot, under which he aims to ensure the health security of women right down to villages and dhanis.
Despite it being the 21st century, women in rural areas are still not able to talk openly on a topic like menstruation. The UDAN scheme launched by the Chief Minister will surely help women move forward in this direction, in terms of cleanliness and health. Already, the women of the state who have benefited from this scheme have expressed their gratitude towards the government. This is a unique initiative of Rajasthan and is now being set up on a large scale in the whole country; it has been appreciated by many big names. In fact, other states also need to learn from the efforts made by the Rajasthan government to protect the dignity and honor of women and protect their lives. Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot believes that as long as women join the mainstream, they will make a difference in society. Even the state cannot progress if it does not do its part in removing the distortions.