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Supreme Court issues notice to Centre, states, UTs over plea seeking free sanitary pads to adolescent girls in govt schools

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The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre, along with all states and Union Territories (UTs) on a petition seeking issuance of directions for providing free sanitary pads to girls studying in classes 6 to 12 in government schools across the country.

The directions were issued by the bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice P.S. Narasimha on a petition filed by social activist and Madhya Pradesh-based doctor Jaya Thakur under Article 32.

Observing that the petitioner has raised an important issue related to sanitation and hygiene of girl students in government and government-aided schools, the top court of the country sought assistance of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in the matter.

Appearing for the petitioner, Advocate Varun Thakur submitted that as per a report by Dasra, over 23 million girls dropped out of school annually due to lack of proper Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) facilities and even prohibited women from taking up jobs. 

He contended that the difficulties faced by the girls were only compounded by the fact that several educational institutions lacked basic toilet facilities.

The plea noted that several educational facilities and institutions were running without basic toilet facilities.

The petition was filed in the Supreme Court on November 2 this year.

The plea further demanded separate toilets for girl students and their maintenance.

Dr Thakur further sought directions to the authorities to run menstrual health education programmes in every school across the country.

The plea noted that several educational facilities and institutions were running without basic toilet facilities.

(Case title: Jaya Thakur vs GoI And Ors)

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