The Airports Authority of India has taken a leaf out of Akshay Kumar starrer Padman’s book and installed sanitary napkins vending machine in 19 airports including three in Northeast.
Currently AAI airports that have these machines are – Indore, Kolkata, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Port Blair, Trivandrum, Mangalore, Tirupati, Vishakhapatnam, Vadodara, Aurangabad, Rajkot, Pune, Guwahati, Agartala, Imphal, Shimla, Varanasi and Surat.
Guwahati, Agartala and Imphal are the three airports in the Northeast region that have these vending machines.
Women passengers can now buy a pack of sanitary napkins by inserting a coin of Re 1, Rs 5 or Rs 10 inside the airport terminals in Calcutta, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Port Blair, Thiruvananthapuram, Mangalore, Tirupati, Vishakapatnam, Vadodara, Aurangabad, Rajkot, Pune, Shimla, Varanasi and Surat, besides the three in the Northeast.
These vending machines would be installed in all 125 airports operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in the future.
AAI chief Guruprasad Mohapatra said: “Installation of sanitary napkin vending machines is a small step towards ensuring comfort for female air travellers. While we are committed to provide a safe and secure air travel, we feel it is our responsibility to address basic hygiene-related needs too.”
The AAI took the first step towards this last October when Indore airport director Aryama Sanyal got the machines installed in female restrooms of arrival hall and departure security hold area. “Since there is no medical shop near the airport and it is impossible to move in and out from the terminal building, we started this initiative. Each facility has the capacity to stock 25 pads and the money from these machines will be utilised to maintain the stock,” said Sanyal.
The AAI subsequently started installing this machine at other airports. “The ready availability of sanitary napkins at affordable prices inside the airport terminal buildings will promote hygienic practices and will also help address the deep rooted stigma attached to menstruation,” an AAI spokesperson added, reported TOI.