On Mandela Day, Mumbai girls get hygiene kits, sanitary pads

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Mumbai, July 18 (IANS) The South Africa Consulate on Tuesday commemorated Mandela Day by distributing packaged hygiene kits to school girls that contained sanitary napkins, soap, hand towel, sanitizer, toothpaste and toothbrush.

The Consulate along with the Nargis Dutt Foundation, an NGO, also provided 176 of these girls with a year’s supply of sanitary napkins.

“Not only will this help in maintaining hygiene but the making of sanitary pads will also create jobs for women with a special sanitary pad manufacturing machine launched by the Nargis Dutt Foundation,” the Consulate said in a statement.

South African Consul General M.L. Ramokgopa raised concerns over the high drop out rate among girls at school.

“Women and girls lack hygiene supplies and as a result of which they do not attend schools or work or indulge into any kind of activity during their menstrual cycles. Lack of affordability, accessibility and awareness are the primary reasons why school girls are forced to drop out.

“Through this initiative, we would like to help these girls keep up with their education every month. And we only hope to see this change in the coming years, where every girl has access to hygienic mediums and can live a routine life to study or work,” Ramokgopa was quoted as saying in the statement.

In recognition of Nelson Mandela’s contributions to democracy, racial justice and reconciliation and his service to humanity, the United Nations has declared Madiba’s birthday on July 18 as International Mandela Day.

— IANS

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