Indian Railways has approved a new policy of selling condoms and sanitary pads at toilet facilities both in and out of railway stations. The policy reads that owing to inadequate sanitation facilities both inside and outside the station, those living in the surrounding area, particularly nearby slum areas and villages, were quite often seen defecating in the open and urinating at the station, reports TOI.
In a bid to get rid of open defecation and to sort out these woes, the Indian Railways has set up facilities having separate toilets for men and women. It is learnt that each facility will have a small stall that will now sell low-cost sanitary pads for women along with incinerator (an apparatus for burning waste material at high temperates until it reduced to ash.
“In order to address these issues, the railways is utilising the station premises to set up facilities having separate toilets for men and women which will be utilised to build awareness for best practices of menstrual hygiene and usage of contraceptives as proposed. Each facility will have a small kiosk to sell low-cost sanitary pads for women along with the provision of an incinerator, and condoms for men,” the policy said.
The policy states that each station would have two such facilities i.e. one outside the station in the nearby area and another inside the station so that they can be used by the passengers visiting the stations and also those living around them, which is completely free of cost.
The policy adds further saying that the facility was to have separate toilets for men, women and Divyangjans (disabled people) with the provision of both Indian and Western style commodes (toilets) in them.
The policy stated that the total requirement for funds to come up with these facilities at all 8,500 stations would be ideally met through CSR funds from different corporates. It is learnt that reputed NGOs will be actively involved to build and operate the toilets.
“For maintaining the cleanliness of the toilets, three persons — two sweepers (one male to clean toilets for men and divyangjans and one female for women toilets) and one supervisor — will be engaged by the agency. Reputed NGOs will be engaged to build and operate the toilets (CSR support from corporates) with a maintenance contract,” the policy said.