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New Delhi: Taking issues regarding lack of awareness about menstruation among schoolgirls, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the authorities to undertake steps to educate and sensitise the schoolgirls about menstrual hygiene. A bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar observed that if the governments and school authorities undertake steps, Delhi will be fully sensitised.

Observing that “it is an important issue”, the bench asked the authorities to submit a report of the steps they have taken and will take to ensure menstrual hygiene among schoolgirls. It has also asked the authorities to file a report on the next hearing on the issue on January 22. It said that the school authorities and governments must “publicise awareness schemes and ensure their effective implementation in schools”.

It also demanded to know the budgetary allocation for the menstrual hygiene under the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) in Delhi schools. The court was hearing a plea submitted by advocate  Setu Niket, who was seeking directions to the Centre, the Delhi government and civic bodies to educate students on mensuration and menstrual hygiene in all the schools.

The petitioner said that according to a survey, the girls drop out rate of the girls was highest during puberty. The plea also sought directions to the school authorities to ensure sanitary napkins and other menstrual products were made available to all the schoolgirls free of cost or at subsidised rates.

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