It may be noted that the Department of Public Health (DPH) distributes just 18 packets having six napkins each to girls every year. “As many as 32.8 lakh girls receive the packets each year besides post-natal mothers. We have been distributing the packets for seven years and the use of sanitary napkins has increased by almost 30 per cent in the state. Each year, over 10 lakh more women receive the packets,” said Dr K Kolandaisamy, Director, DPH, adding that they hope to reach the targeted numbers in five years.Launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2011, the programme aims at creating awareness about menstrual hygiene programme. “This programme was launched to reduce the use of rags and old clothes for menstruation, which is what women in rural areas mostly rely on,” added Dr Shanthi.