Bokaro girl invented biometric sanitary pad box; revolutionizes menstrual hygiene in schools

by Ashis Sinha

Bokaro: Ayushi, a seventh-grade student at DPS Bokaro, came up with an inventive solution that eliminates the need for school-going girls who struggle with menstruation to miss their classes.

Ayushi, has devised an ingenious solution that is poised to transform menstrual hygiene in schools—a biometric sanitary pad box.

Ayushi’s invention, a pad dispenser linked to Aadhaar numbers and school records, allows female students to obtain sanitary pads simply by using their fingerprints, eliminating the need to ask for assistance or feel embarrassed. This ingenious solution has earned her recognition in the ‘Inspire Award Manak’ scheme for 2022-23 by the Government of India.

On December 15, Ayushi will showcase her innovative creation at the state-level exhibition and project competition, taking place in Ranchi. Furthermore, her project has gained national recognition, being selected for the Child Rights Congress (CRC).

Her dedication to this project was rewarded with a government incentive of Rs 10,000 following her success at the district level in the Inspire Manak competition. Twinkle Sinha, a sixth-grade student, played a pivotal role in assisting Ayushi in the development of this remarkable project.

Briefing about the biometric sanitary pad box she said: this box boasts a capacity of 100 pads, and it extends its benefits to government school students as well.

This box is divided into two compartments, one for pad withdrawal and the other for pad donations. Students can take one pad and, in return, must donate two pads within a week. To ensure compliance, the system includes reminders, she explained.

Of the two pads contributed by the girl students, one is allocated for donation to government school students, while the other remains in the box’s pad withdrawal area. LED glow bulbs and sensors facilitate the process, with a green light indicating the availability of more than four pads, and a red light flashing to alert attendants when the quantity falls below four, she said.

Ayushi has also included a user guide to accompany the pads distributed to government school students.

Notably, the biometric system within the box is integrated with the school’s database, ensuring that all transactions are automatically recorded in the school’s cloud storage. This feature enables immediate reminder messages to be sent to students’ mobile phones in case of delays in pad donations.

Ayushi’s inspiration for this project emerged from witnessing the difficulties faced by fellow female students due to the unavailability of sanitary pads.

In rural areas, the lack of essential resources, such as sanitary pads, clean water, and suitable toilets, often leads to girls dropping out of school. These challenges result in anxiety, embarrassment, and hindered education.

Ayushi’s project aims to raise awareness about menstruation, provide affordable sanitary napkins, engage both private and government schools in pad donation programs, and sustain a cycle of hygiene education.

Dr. A. S. Gangwar, Principal of DPS Bokaro, lauded Ayushi’s innovative thinking, emphasizing its practicality for female students. He commended her philanthropic innovation, which blends intelligence with social concern, leading to her selection for the Inspire Award and the national Child Rights Congress competition.

“Ayushi’s invention promises a brighter future for schoolgirls and sets a remarkable example for addressing pressing social issues through innovative solutions,” added Gangwar.

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