Menstrual Hygiene is not a girl’s or women’s right issue, it’s a human rights issue.
We, at Uboontu feel that as members of this society it’s imperative for us to educate these young girls on Menstrual Health and Hygiene, so that they don’t face discrimination, they don’t drop out of school at the onset of Menarche and continue their education to achieve their full potential.
We have signed an agreement with SDMC schools for Menstrual Hygiene management training program for govt school teachers. These teachers implement this MHM curriculum year after year with their students. This is one of the most sustainable awareness campaign on addressing menstrual health issues for girls before menarche. The sessions are conducted in primary schools for girls aged 9-13 years. So far, 50 SDMC school teachers have been trained and 3500 children benefited. Our #periodpaheli campaign strives to leverage the knowledge of Menstrual Hygiene Management to address sexual and reproductive health topics and to change the attitudes and deeply rooted myths surrounding menstruation. Our interactive sessions aim to bust the myths, taboos and restrictions that these girls and women go through during their periods. Our curriculum partner is Wash United.
For us, addressing menstrual health and hygiene issues amongst the underprivileged has been our key responsibility area. We started our awareness session on Menstrual Hygiene in 2016, and to date we have benefited 25000 girls through 300 sessions in various slum communities, rural villages, NGOs, anganwadis and government schools. Our target is to reach out to 100,000 girls by the end of 2021.
Menstruation is not a Problem, poor menstrual hygiene is !!
We identified Komal, at one of our Menstrual Hygiene session in an anganwadi in Dashinpuri, Delhi. Komal came along with one of her friend and was sitting right in front of the menstrual health educator. She listened to each and every point of the counsellor wide eyed trying to absorb every information. After the session, she was keen to talk to the educator and started speaking about her experiences. She was one of the few girls in her class who started with her periods, however, she felt awful during her periods as most of her relatives and friends considered it dirty. She generally uses a cloth pad given by her mother, which is unable to absorb the menstrual blood and as a result, she always gets stains on her clothes. The girls in her class were always making fun of her condition and asked her to stay away from them as she was considered dirty and sick. She has asked her mother many times to give her a pad, since the mother cannot afford it, she has to use a cloth for a long time, which is usually dirty and as a result she had also got some infection and her vagina was always itchy with white discharge, she even had urinary tract infection. We at Uboontu, immediately took action and took the girl to a dispensary, where the doctor checked her and gave her medicines, she was also linked to the free pad
scheme being run by the govt. An Asha worker was also assigned to her to give her free pads monthly. We also gave the girls free pads and asked her to visit our centre whenever she needs them. It was almost like catharsis for the girl as she kept talking about herself and the embarrassment she faces whenever she is on periods.
Sad part is, there are many girls like Komal who are facing period poverty, and these girls have no prior knowledge about this natural body process and face shame and embarrassment due to inadequate/unhygienic menstrual hygiene products.