Menstrual Hygiene session with women
Working across 6 drought affected states of India this year, Goonj is also reaching out to the affected women for their most acute need of clean cloth Goonj My- Pads. Here are some glimpses into their lives and how menstruation turns into a monthly disaster for them..
“When we don’t have anything, what do we do? We do know about the risks but when there isn’t any arrangement, it’s our desperation. What all things do we earn for? We only make Rs 200 ($2.98).. In this, what all can one buy, what all does one pay attention to?
Tribal women of Sudor village (Shahnagar block, Panna district, Uttar Pradesh) speak about a stark reality of menstruation and cloth. In a drought hit region their struggles are more shocking and urgent.
A woman said, “Some of us use one cloth 4 times while others use it 10 times.” Another said, “Menstruation seems like a problem. Who do we talk to about it? Can’t even speak to our husband about it.. Even when we find a dirty cloth, we wash it, dry it and use it for menstruation.”
Earning not more than Rs150-200 ($2.24 - $2.98) a day as daily wage laborers, these women struggle for cloth in a time when even water and food is challenge.. Many live with only 2 synthetic saris for 1-2 years. Old cloth is commonly used and reused for menstruation, for months at end. Some even said they wished to stop their menstruation since it only added to their troubles.
As daily wage laborers majority of these women work in the fields and for them menstruation is an impediment in such work. In absence of proper sanitation facilities they go for open defecation in nights and take bath in the open near the source of water. Their dignity, safety and livelihood is closely tied to their struggles every month with menstruation.
One woman said, “Half our time is spent in bringing water and then we have to go out to work as well.. We have even worked as daily laborer even when pregnant. During menstruation the pain is so much that when we come home first we have to take a hot fermentation before we cook food.” With only 3 running hand pumps for the entire village Sudor (Panna District, UP), water is a precious commodity. Women go long distances to fetch water on bullock cart or cycles or on their heads.
Sponsoring Goonj’s MY Pads packs is a practical, doable and effective way to address a woman’s basic need. It not only offers to a woman, awareness about some basic do’s and dont’s but also gives a first-hand experience of a viable and familiar solution in the shape of MY Pads. Do talk about this basic to your family, friends, and colleagues, motivating them to take this small but meaningful step today. .
From creating of cotton sanitary pads to carrying out awareness about menstrual hygiene to trying to break the myths & taboos surround menstruation in remote India, the old material and Goonj has a lot to share and hence started a series - 100 Stories of Change!! Do refer http://goonj.org/page_id=23251/index.html to read the Stories of Change...
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