Niine Sanitary Napkins has installed close to 300 vending machines over the last few months working closely with schools, colleges, hospitals, police stations and even district courts.
Amar Tulsiyan, founder of Niine Sanitary Napkins said, “Niine is committed to improving menstrual hygiene of girls and women in India, and Vending machines not only drive availability and convenience, but also help remind them for timely change of their sanitary napkins helping maintain their overall health and well being.”
Work being done by Niine, is not restricted to larger cities or metros, or concentrated in small pockets; vending machines have been installed in metros like Kolkata and Delhi, Tier 1 towns including Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur, and smaller and far off locations in Uttarakhand and Bihar and Jharkhand. Recent installations include Kolkata Police Academy, Gurugram District Court and Gorakhpur Domestic Airport.
“Installation of Sanitary Pads Vending Machines is a key part of our social marketing initiatives, and goes a long way in educating and driving awareness among users and non-users. We try and also provide educational posters along with the vending machines; besides the machines dispense a pad at Rs.5, which is affordable to try for a first timer, as well as convenient in terms of coinage,” said Richa Singh, CEO.
Niine has not been alone in this initiative and several groups have joined hands to support placement of these vending machines. In West Bengal, Sanmarg group came forward to support purchase and installation of vending machines for underprivileged sections and in key public areas. Lions Club, Rotary and Inner Wheel are a few other clubs that have been supporting donation of these machines and placement in areas where sanitary napkin availability is low. In some areas, where a need was felt, Niine has also placed machines at its own cost to bring convenience to women and drive improvement in menstrual hygiene.
The machines being installed are easy to use, and refill bags are easily available and also supplied directly to place of installation on request by Niine. Manual Vending Machines are being placed in areas- where public toilets may have limited electrical fittings.
As taboos ease in the country, and we see people embracing periods as a normal part of women’s lives, employers are also warming up to having sanitary pad vending machines and are reaching out to procure vending machines that suit their budgets. Manual Vending Machines are available at as low as Rs 4500 with branding and installation, electrical machines start at Rs 8500 and then we have higher end ones which come with PAYTM compatibility, multiple variant dispensing and LCD displays which may cost upto Rs 27000.
Girls and women are more mobile now, and spend significant hours outside home, and they do need menstrual hygiene 5 days a month, each month. Periods often catch one, unprepared – vending machines are a simple and affordable answer to bring convenience to nearly half of our population, outside homes.