HLL installs ‘VENDIGO’

Sanitary napkin vending machines at Nirman Bhavan, MoHFW


New Delhi, Sep 11: Central Government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd has installed four sanitary napkin-vending machines in women’s washrooms at Nirman Bhawan which houses the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the national capital. The machine dispenses “Happy Days” sanitary napkins manufactured by HLL in its Kanagala Factory in Belgaum.

Aimed to benefit the female employees of the ministry, these VENDIGO machines will dispense napkin (pack of three pads) on the press of a button. Priced at Rs 10, a pack can be available on inserting a Rs. 10 note or coins of Rs. 1, 5 and 10.

The state-of-the-art machine was inaugurated by Additional Secretary and MD National Health Mission Mr C K Mishra IAS in the presence of Mr. C R K Nair, Additional DG (MoHFW), Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Joint Secretary (MoHFW), Mr Vikas Arya, Director (Procurement), Department of Health and Family Welfare and Dr. M Ayyappan, Chairman & Managing Director of HLL Lifecare Ltd headquartered in the Kerala capital of Thiruvananthapuram.

At present the use of napkins is low especially in the rural areas. Experts notice that this owes largely to a stigma attached to the product in India, where women hesitate to buy sanitary napkins from retail shops.

Mr Mishra described VENDIGO as a bold step in the right direction for health and hygiene for women. “We need to install more of them in schools, offices and hospitals,” he added.

Dr Ayyappan said the VENDIGO machines are a “noble way” of making napkins available to women without any intervention. “We have ensured round-the-clock availability of the product—at the right time and right place,” he said.

Dr Ayyappan, while explaining the machine to the top ministry officials and other dignitaries, said the 1966-founded HLL is specially working towards promoting menstrual health and hygiene with a vision to increase usage of quality sanitary napkins amongst adolescent girls and women of the country. Our not-for-profit organisation Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT) has been organizing sanitary napkin awareness programmes all across the country, besides supplying it for the Government of India’s national programme. He also added that the current production capacity of sanitary napkins at our factory at Kanagala Belgaum is 400 Mn pieces per annum.

HLL is already working with various state governments to install VENDIGO machines in schools, colleges, offices, hospitals and hostels for women and girls. Currently, the PSU is working with various departments in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, West Bengal and Kerala among other states to promote this concept and provide complete solution.

The company, which produces healthcare products such as condoms, surgical sutures,   blood bags and contraceptive pill among others, is also promoting safe and environment-friendly disposal of used napkin pads by providing sanitary napkin incinerators.

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