SC to hear plea on free sanitary pads for Class VI-XII girl students on July 8

On November 6, the top court directed the Centre to lay down a national model for building toilets commensurate with the number of female students
The Supreme Court is set to reopen on July 8 after summer vacation
The Supreme Court is set to reopen on July 8 after summer vacationEdexLive Desk

The Supreme Court (SC) is scheduled to hear on Monday, July 8 a plea seeking directions to the Centre and states to provide free sanitary pads to female students of Class VI-XII and ensure separate female toilet facilities in all government-aided and residential schools. This was stated in a report by PTI.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JP Pardiwala and Manoj Misra is scheduled to hear the plea of Congress leader and social worker Jaya Thakur, in which she highlighted the difficulties faced by adolescent females from poor backgrounds in the schools.

During the last hearing of the matter on February 5, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati informed that the Centre is in the process of collating all necessary material to form a national policy on the distribution of menstrual hygiene products to school-going girls in terms of the orders dated April 10, 2023, and November 6, 2023.

On June 13, the Union Education Ministry, in an advisory to schools, said female students should be allowed to take necessary restroom breaks during Board exams for Classes X and XII and free sanitary napkins must be made available at all examination centres.

The Supreme Court is set to reopen on July 8 after summer vacation.

On November 6, the top court directed the Centre to lay down a national model for building toilets commensurate with the number of female students in all government-aided and residential schools across the country.

While emphasising uniform procedure, it also asked the union government about the policy it has formulated for the distribution of sanitary napkins to female school students nationally.

During the hearing, the Centre informed the apex court that a draft national policy for the distribution of sanitary napkins free of cost to school-going girls has been formulated and sent to stakeholders to elicit their comments.

On April 10, the apex court appointed the secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) as the nodal officer to coordinate with states and Union Territories (UTs) and collect relevant data for formulating a national policy.

It noted that MoHFW, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Jal Shakti have schemes on menstrual hygiene management.

The plea filed by Congress leader Thakur stated that adolescent females from poor backgrounds between the ages of 11 and 18 years face serious difficulties in receiving education, a constitutional right under Article 21A of the Constitution.

"These are adolescent females who are not equipped with and are also not educated by their parents about menstruation and menstrual hygiene," read the lines of the petition.

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