Menstrual Hygiene Kits for 1300 orphan girls,India

by Catalysts for Social Action
Menstrual Hygiene Kits for 1300 orphan girls,India
Menstrual Hygiene Kits for 1300 orphan girls,India
Menstrual Hygiene Kits for 1300 orphan girls,India
Menstrual Hygiene Kits for 1300 orphan girls,India
Menstrual Hygiene Kits for 1300 orphan girls,India
Menstrual Hygiene Kits for 1300 orphan girls,India

A adolescent Health Program’s session conducted with 58 girls for one of our Child Care Home via zoom. This session aimsed to demonstrate the importance of adolescent’s health and illustrate the importance of comprehensive cleaning to maintain a good health. 

Facilitator: Trupti- Program officer- CSA Pune

Objectives

Following are the objectives of the sessions, 

  • Awareness among attendees about the importance of Puberty.
  • Understand the menstruation and reproduction process. 
  • Understand the healthy peer relationship and gender role.
  • To understand the LGBTQ concepts and filtering media massage. 

The session was divided into 10 parts and started with building a concept on thinking about self and body changes (biological part) amongst the adolescents’ girls. The facilitator spoke about the physical changes that boys and girls undergo during puberty. After that they build a discussion on menstruation process, dos and don’ts, hygiene and sexual safety. Post which she tried to build a concept on LGBTQ and filtering media messages which would misguide them.

All the 62 participants present in the session were very keen to know about the basic information about personal hygiene. The attendees were 14 to 22 years old and the level of qualification of the attendees was between 8th to 12th. After the session the common response from the participants was that they learnt many important things about AHP which are very essential for a better life style and to maintain a good and safe life. 

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Sanitary Napkins being distributed
Sanitary Napkins being distributed

The pandemic and quarantine measures were/are cutting girls from essential health services in some rural parts of India. So this Menstrual Hygiene Day- 28th May it was more important than ever for girls to speak out about their needs without shame.

Most of the girls in the Child Care Homes rely on free sanitary pads distributed by local donors but due to the Second wave in India, they no longer have access to them.

It was more than important to make them feel that they are taken care off. So this menstrual hygiene day we managed to have a session with them online and delivered a few sanitary napkins. For this session we asked the girls to note down all their Period related problems so they would not feel shy and be open about it and got them guidance through a knowledgeable speaker online. We also distributed a box full of sanitary pads to take care of their needs for the next few months.

There is definitely need for more sanitary napkins, not just in Odisha but in other informal settlements and even rural areas. We are a small fraction of what is happening across the country. We could only do what we did because of your support. We can't do it without your help.

 

Girls going through their online session
Girls going through their online session
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Ongoing Digital Session
Ongoing Digital Session

In India, the lockdown and its extension impacts access to menstrual hygiene products and the ability to maintain hygiene during periods in privacy and with dignity for girls living in child care homes.

This specifically becomes very difficult in rural areas wherein access to chemist shops is very limited.

Girls and women dependent on free or subsidised supplies from schools, anganwadis  find themselves cut off for at least a month, if not longer in the last nation wise lockdown.

During these difficult times the major importance is given to Groceries and day to day survival essentials. Access to menstrual hygiene and essentials has become an issue in many rural areas which leads to unhygienic usage of clothes and various infections.

As education and health services have been disrupted, so has the flow of basic information about menstrual health and hygiene. More than ever, we must find new, creative ways to educate people about menstruation – to dispel rumours and spread positive, accurate information about menstruation, both to raise awareness and to end stigma and shame. 

To Bridge this gap we introduced the Digital engagement program to ensure access to upgrading skills, learning new things, and teaching them life skills by conducting various sessions online. Addressing issues related to Menstrual hygiene was one of the important aspect through these sessions.

The key objectives of this program were:

- Engaging the children in educational content and meaningful vocational activity

-  To ensure that they connect with teachers/mentors unable to visit them within CCI premises

- To conduct online counselling/mentoring of children and young adults

Through these sessions we were able to acknowledge any doubts that children had related to their cycle and also ensured each of the homes were stocked up with all the required essentials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are over 450 million menstruating women and girls in India, but millions of women across the country still face significant barriers to a comfortable and dignified experience with menstrual hygiene management.

We at Catalysts for Social Action conducts menstrual hygiene sessions with girls from Child care institutions in some remote districts around Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh, Pune & Goa to explain the importance of hygiene, usage and disposal of sanitary napkins.

Special Adolescent Health Program (AHP) is also designed in very elaborative way so that this module of 10 sessions will educate girls about menstruation, menstrual hygiene, usage and disposal of sanitary napkins, puberty, reproductive system etc. Along with these sessions we have provided sanitary Napkins to over 1000+ Girls in the past year

These girls have many questions to ask but in daily life they hesitate even to speak about it and it leads to many health & hygiene related issues. Questions like how to keep hygiene? When menstruation starts? And why it is important and what are the consequences if it is not handled properly. Adolescent Health Program addresses some of these questions & dilemmas. We conduct AHP sessions at various Child Care Institutes (CCIs) pan India from the age group of 13 years and above.

Menstruation and menstrual practices are still clouded by various taboos and social-cultural restrictions resulting in adolescent girls remaining ignorant of the scientific facts and hygienic health practices, which sometimes result into adverse health outcomes.

With an aim to strengthen facilitator capacity to deliver awareness training, improving the reach and quality of low-cost pads and ability to manage their menstruation, CSA is trying to create maximum awareness between these girls.

We see that girls are opening up, discussing their personal hygiene issues with doctors, making an effort to maintain personal hygiene which is helping them overcome hygiene related issues such as rashes, itches. Most importantly, girls are very happy to be able to use sanitary napkins as they step out to go to school with confidence!

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Distribution of Sanitary Napkins in Pune
Distribution of Sanitary Napkins in Pune

Sanitation & hygiene are the first line of defence against COVID-19. It’s widely recognised that access to soaps for hand wash, sanitizers & masks is a critical need that must be met in our response to the pandemic, however there are other essential aspects of hygiene that should not be forgotten at this time.

On any single day during this health emergency, women and girls in millions are menstruating and struggling with the unique challenges of doing so in a global pandemic.

Periods don’t stop during a pandemic and as some places emerge from the peak of the pandemic and restrictions on movement begin to ease, the challenge for millions of girls who menstruate continues.

As global supply chains are disrupted and smaller scale private sector enterprises cease trading, deliveries of goods has slowed, particularly in remote areas. Shops and markets remain closed and restrictions on movement due to lockdowns have made sourcing goods more challenging. When sanitary products are hard to obtain, girls may be forced to resort to using unhygienic alternatives that can increase their risk of reproductive and urinary tract infections.

Where people are struggling with groceries & other basic supplies during the pandemic in general households or even the Child Care Institutions (CCIs), menstrual hygiene is of least priority.

Our key focus area during the pandemic was to meet the hygiene & sanitation requirements of the child care homes that we work with along with day to day essential supplies. We were able to provide 550+ girls with supplies of sanitary napkins in Maharashtra, Goa, Odisha & Madhya Pradesh.  

 While it is important to provide essential hygiene material such as hand wash, hand sanitizers and masks to ensure safety, somewhere down the line, we should also focus on menstrual hygiene requirements and provide the best so that young girls at CCIs are assured of menstrual hygiene support during an otherwise extremely challenging time.

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Organization Information

Catalysts for Social Action

Location: Ghatkopar West, Mumbai, India - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Catalysts4SA
Catalysts for Social Action
Henal Shah
Project Leader:
Henal Shah
Ghatkopar West, Mumbai, India

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