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Karnataka High Court Summons Health Commissioner Over Non-Implementation Of SUCHI Scheme For Supply Of Sanitary Napkins To School Girls

Mustafa Plumber
29 July 2021 3:08 PM GMT
Karnataka High Court Summons Health Commissioner Over Non-Implementation Of SUCHI Scheme For Supply Of Sanitary Napkins To School Girls
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The Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the Commissioner of Health and Family wWelfare services to personally remain present before the court on August 5 and place on record the progress that has been made in the implementation of SUCHI scheme. A division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice P Krishna Bhat issued the direction while observing "The matter is going on...

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The Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the Commissioner of Health and Family wWelfare services to personally remain present before the court on August 5 and place on record the progress that has been made in the implementation of SUCHI scheme.

A division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice P Krishna Bhat issued the direction while observing "The matter is going on like this from the month of March-April. You (State) had said even if schools are closed the adolescent girls who don't come to school will be distributed the sanitary napkins by visiting house to house. However, nothing is happening on the ground. The SUCHI scheme is only on paper."

Under the scheme sanitary napkins are distributed to adolescent girls studying in schools and staying in hostels between the age group of 10 to 19 years. A total of 17,06,933 adolescent girls are beneficiaries of the scheme in the state. However, during the years 2019-20, 20-21, procurement of sanitary napkins to be distributed to adolescent girls was not made on account of financial constraint.

Earlier, the State government filed a memo stating that by the end of April 2021 the technical committee would be meeting and in the month of May 2021, the administrative approval will be sought and within 90 days thereafter the procurement shall be made and a budget of Rs 47 crore has been allocated for implementing the scheme. However, the court noted there has been no progress done in the matter.

It orally said "Point is that girls are missing out of school on certain days of the month and that is coming in the way of their Right To Education. How do you empower girl students? This (SUCHI scheme) is a means of empowerment. If you are not going to implement this project and every month if for 3 to 5 days, they (adolescent girls) don't turn up to school they are missing out on education." It added, "This is not only a matter of education to girls but also in regards to their hygiene."

The court even orally suggested the state government to make an appeal to Corporate houses to provide funds for the implementation of the SUCHi scheme under Corporation Social Responsibility (CSR).

The direction was given during the hearing of a petition filed by ANTI CORRUPTION COUNCIL OF INDIA. The petition filed in the year 2018 had prayed for the issuance of a writ of mandamus or directions to the respondents to conduct physical inspection of schools and to file reports. Further, direct the respondents to provide adequate infrastructure and facilities to students, teachers and staff in Government Aided Schools. Also direct respondents to conduct regular health check-up programmes for students in Government Schools. Some vaccinations should be provided free of cost to poor and downtrodden students. Moreover, for strict implementation of the Shuchi Scheme on funding the government schools with the supply of sanitary napkins.


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