Time-and-again, Project Disha, which is funded by HDFC Parivartan and implemented by Magic Bus India Foundation, has shown the value of dialoguing with adolescents and involving them in decisions that concern them the most. The success in Karde is an indicator of how multiple stakeholders can get together to keep adolescent girls from dropping out or being irregular at school.
Bhairavnath High School in Karde, Pune, installed a sanitary napkin vending machine so that girls do not stop coming to school during their menstrual cycles. The school has 358 girl students and 14 women staff members. It was the girls who raised this issue with our resource person and shared that the inconvenience of finding sanitary napkins would deter them from coming to school.
The Magic Bus resource person took the help of teachers and sought solutions from the students. The students said that a vending machine in school would address their difficulties.
Magic Bus presented students’ suggestions to the school authorities and also to the Gram Panchayat. The Sarpanch fully supported the idea, and did some research to find out the cost of installing such a machine. The machine was installed in 2019 to the relief of the students.
The vending machine came with pre-loaded pads, which was provided by the Gram Panchayat. The cost of each pad is ₹5 which is cheaper than pads available in the market.