The Supreme Court of India has directed the central government to develop a National Policy on menstrual hygiene for school-going girls across the country. The policy must ensure low-cost sanitary napkins and safe disposal mechanisms for them in schools.The bench, headed by CJI DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala, deemed this issue of 'immense importance' and demanded all states and Union territories to submit their menstrual hygiene management strategies and plans to the Mission Steering Group of the National Health Mission within four weeks and provide low-cost sanitary napkins and safe disposal mechanisms.The petition also called for a three-stage awareness program that creates awareness about menstrual health, provides adequate sanitation facilities and subsidized or free sanitary products to women, and ensures proper menstrual waste disposal.Additionally, the bench has asked to specify the appropriate ratio of girls' toilets for residential and non-residential schools and to take steps to ensure low-cost sanitary napkins and vending machines in schools. The Centre was ordered to file an updated status report by July 2023.The direction was issued in response to a petition requesting directions to the Union of India, states, and union territories to provide sanitary pads to girl children in class 6-12 and separate toilets for girls in all government, government-aided schools, and residential schools.The Supreme Court directed the Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to serve as the nodal officer to facilitate communication between all ministries and states. An updated status report on the matter is expected to be presented to the Union Government within three months.The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare acknowledged that menstruation and menstrual practices are surrounded by taboos and socio-cultural restrictions for women and adolescent girls in India, and that access to sanitary hygiene products and safe sanitary facilities is limited. The government is committed to increasing awareness among adolescent girls on menstrual hygiene and working towards increasing access to high-quality sanitary napkins for girls in rural areas.