Lucknow: Needless to say, sanitary napkins are an essential commodity for women, however due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, many women aren’t able to procure it. Taking a note of their pressing concerns, the district administration in Lucknow has finally decided to provide free sanitary napkins, soaps and hand sanitizers to women at their homes. Also Read - Are Sanitary Napkins Not 'Essential' Enough to be COVID-19 Lockdown Exception?

On Wednesday, District magistrate Abhishek Prakash said that free sanitary napkins, soaps and sanitizers will be made available to women through six ‘Sakhi’ vans. Also Read - Scotland Set to Be The First Country to Provide Free Sanitary Products to Women

The district magistrate said, “We learnt that during lockdown, women and girls in some areas could not get sanitary napkins. We have prepared a route chart of those areas. The vans will reach there and provide them with free napkins, soaps and sanitizers.”

He further said women who want to avail these essential items can call on a helpline number- 7905323611.

Notably, sanitary napkins wasn’t a part of the list of essential goods until 29 March, causing a lot of confusion among vendors and online shopping websites. Owing to the uncertainty, items like sanitary napkins, toothpastes, shampoos weren’t on the essential list of most online shopping portals, causing a lot of problem to women.

Meanwhile, production of sanitary napkins also took a direct hit because of that and several companies shut down their plants, since there was no clear directive from the government on whether they can operate or not.

The situation led to a Twitter storm, with angry users criticising the government, saying that the lockdown imposed will not stop a woman’s menstrual cycle. Later, Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani had to issue a clarification.