Gurugram, Haryana, India: By announcing a 21-day nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Modi has made the much-needed move to further break the spread of COVID-19. While the supply of food, medicines, and other essential goods will continue, it is also important to ensure that local enforcement bodies and suppliers can work together to ensure their uninterrupted supply.
Some major commodities covered under the Essential Commodity Act include food items like edible oil and seeds, vanaspati, pulses, rice, sugarcane and its products; petroleum and petroleum products; jute and textile; seeds of fruits and vegetables; and drugs and fertilizers. The Essential Commodities Act, 1955, was enacted to ensure the easy availability of essential commodities while also protecting consumers from exploitation by unscrupulous traders.
Sanitary napkins and several other hygiene products are not clearly listed under essential goods, leading to supply issues across the country. Amazon, BigBasket and several other players are not being able to pick up sanitary napkins due to a lack of clarity on this. While the Telangana and Karnataka governments have come forward to list these products as essential goods, a similar move at the central level will help smooth out operations.
Amar Tulsiyan, founder of Shudh Plus Hygiene Products and manufacturer of Niine Sanitary Napkins, said while individual state governments are coming forward to provide clarification on essential goods, efforts can be speeded up if the Ministry of Consumer Affairs or Health or even the PMO office can provide a centralised clarification or extended list of essential items, clearly listing sanitary napkins, soaps and other hygiene products as essential goods.
Sanitary napkins are sold through e-commerce platforms, chemists, and grocery outlets. They are a critical hygiene need for all girls and women. If listed under essential commodities, they will help keep women safe from unwanted infections.
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