The government will set up sanitary pad making units in all blocks of the country through its special purpose vehicle CSC e-Governance Services India, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said as per the PTI report. "One sanitary pad making unit by the CSC shall be opened in each block of India..., which will be sold at low price of Rs 5-8 a unit through village-level entrepreneurs; so that we can progressively work in direction of improving natural hygiene," the Union law and IT minister told reporters after meeting state IT ministers and secretaries.
CSC e-Governance Services manages operations of common service centres (CSCs) across India which provide government services in rural area and off-late have diversified into selling ayurvedic products, LED bulbs etc. The CSCs are run by independent village-level entrepreneurs (VLE) who take franchise for providing government services in rural areas. "Through this we will have 60,000 women VLEs employed. We talk about Swachh Bharat so menstrual hygiene is important as part of Swachh Bharat," Prasad said.
He said that at present 2.8 lakh CSCs are operational across about 1.7 lakh gram panchayats (GPs). "There are 2.5 lakh GPs in the country. We have decided that by May, CSCs should be operating in balance 70,000 GPs," Prasad said. Earlier in the day, Prasad at the meeting had said ration should not be denied to poor if they do not have Aadhaar. "We need to think on ways to encourage people in getting Aadhaar," Prasad said.
He said alternate document should be used for providing benefits to the poor till they get Aadhaar. As per government data, there are about 120 crore Aadhaar users in the country and 14 crore are yet to be enrolled. Most of the people left out of Aadhaar belong to North East, Jammu and Kashnmir and in the age group of 0-5 years.