Chandigarh, May 28: Punjab Social Security Minister Aruna Chaudhary on Friday launched the women-empowerment oriented 'Udaan Scheme' on the occasion of International Menstrual Hygiene Day, under which sanitary pads of Rs 40.55 crore would be distributed free of cost annually to needy women and girls.
Addressing the virtual launch ceremony, which was live telecasted at 1,500 locations, Chaudhary said the main objective of the scheme is to protect women and girls from menstrual hygiene related diseases and spread awareness about menstrual hygiene.
"Under this new scheme, school drop-out and out-of-school girls, young women not attending college, women from BPL families, residing in slum areas and homeless women, women of itinerant traveller (banjara) families and left-out beneficiaries would be covered by incurring Rs 40.55 crore per annum," she said.
At the launch ceremony, a total one lakh packets of sanitary pads were distributed at all 1,500 online locations as well as at anganwadi centres in the state.
The Minister said that during state-level 'Dheeyaan di Lohri' function in January Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had announced the distribution of free sanitary pads to all needy girls, especially those residing in slums areas.
The minister said beneficiaries would be covered through statewide network of 27,314 anganwadi centres.
Chaudhary said a state task force has been constituted to monitor the overall progress and smooth implementations of the scheme.