Condoms and sanitary pads would now be sold at toilet facilities both inside and outside railway stations for not only the passengers but also the people living in its vicinity, a new toilet policy recently approved by the Railway Board said. The policy stated that due to lack of proper sanitation facilities in and around the station premises, those living in the vicinity, especially nearby slums and villages, were often found defecating in the open and urinating in station premises which made the surroundings unhygienic and resulted in health-related problems.
“In order to address these issues, the railways is utilising the station premises to set up facilities having separate toilets for men and women which will be utilised to build awareness for best practices of menstrual hygiene and usage of contraceptives as proposed. “Each facility will have a small kiosk to sell low- cost sanitary pads for women along with provision of an incinerator, and condoms for men,” the policy said. Under the policy each station would have two such facilities.
One outside the station in the circulating area and another inside the station so that they can be used by people visiting the stations and also those living around them, free of cost. The policy said each facility was to have separate toilets for men, women and Divyangjans with provision of both Indian and Western style commodes in them.
Requirement for funds to set up these facilities at all 8,500 stations would be met through CSR funds from different corporations and their maintenance would be ensured through advertisements/CSR, the policy stated. “For maintaining the cleanliness of the toilets, three persons — two sweepers (one male to clean toilets for men and divyangjans and one female for women toilets) and one supervisor — will be engaged by the agency. Reputed NGOs will be engaged to build and operate the toilets (CSR support from corporates) with a maintenance contract,” it said.