BENGALURU: In a move to better the travel experience of its women passengers, the Bengaluru Railway Division will soon install two vital equipment at restrooms and women’s toilets of two of its stations — a machine that produces sanitary napkins, as well as incinerators to dispose of them in an eco-friendly way. Kick-starting this move to improve women’s hygiene, the machines were installed in one restroom of the Divisional Railway Manager’s office on a pilot basis on Monday. The South Western Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation (SWRWWO), which is run by contributions from railway employees across Karnataka will be sponsoring the project.
Senior Divisional Personnel Officer (SDPO), Bengaluru Division, K Asif Hafeez told The New Indian Express, “It costs D67,000 to put in place each of these facilities. The waiting halls and women’s toilets of Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna and Yesvantpur railway stations will be the first in our Division to have these coin-operated vending machines in place. We will launch them on Women’s Day (March 8).” The machines will produce one sanitary pad when a D5 coin is inserted in the machine’s slot, Hafeez said.
“The SWRWWO sent us a letter on February 8 conveying their interest in funding low-cost sanitary napkins in the interests of women’s hygiene. The personnel department immediately began implementing them on the second floor of the head office here,” he said. “The restrooms on the other floors will also have them soon. They are in the process of being renovated and will be installed during that time,” the SDPO said. There are 163 women working in the DRM office presently.
A letter from Deepali Gupta, president of Hubballi’s SWRWWO, said, “Railway stations are mass contact areas wherein the provision of the facilities will add a great deal of convenience and hygiene to women’s hygiene and health.” Asked about its prevalence in other Railway Zones, the officer said, “The general manager’s office at Churchgate in Mumbai had installed these toilets in the women’s restrooms. In South Western Railway Zone, which includes Bengaluru, Hubballi and Mysuru Divisions, we are definitely the first. The others will emulate if it becomes popular.” The machine installed on Monday at the DRM office will be formally inaugurated on Thursday (February 15) by the president of the Bengaluru division of SWRWWO Vandana Saxena.