COVID-19  India Project #46567

Periods Don't Stop for COVID19 Pandemic Help Girls

by Center for Women's Development and Research
Periods Don't Stop for COVID19 Pandemic Help Girls
Periods Don't Stop for COVID19 Pandemic Help Girls
Periods Don't Stop for COVID19 Pandemic Help Girls
Periods Don't Stop for COVID19 Pandemic Help Girls
Periods Don't Stop for COVID19 Pandemic Help Girls
Periods Don't Stop for COVID19 Pandemic Help Girls
Girls with free chocolates
Girls with free chocolates

Centre for Women's Development and Research-CWDR

Periods Don't stop for  Covid -19 Pandemic, Help Girls

Project No: #46567

Update August 2021

 

 We can say 'It was the worst of times, it was the best times'. Covid 19 lockdown continues, during the Covid 19 second wave the situation become worse in our working areas. Schools remain closed for more than 18 months, most of the children’s parents have also lost their jobs.  We have been mobilising relief materials and distribute among them. But the worst thing happened 4 of our staff members tested Corona positive and ordered to quarantine for 2 weeks from July 15th onwards, and all activities were stopped.  In the meantime 12standary examination results were announced and the government said all children are passed on their past performances. Funding crunch become acute.  It is nearly 3 years we have not received any donations from the GlobalGiving.

It was the best of times.  Our campaign 'Periods don't stop for Pandemics help adolescent girls' campaign requesting public to order sanitary pads online and request the online shop to  deliver it in our office, went very well.  We have used all the social media and also newspapers to reach the public. So far we could able to get more than 5 sanitary pads and it was distributed among 2000 adolescent girls. We realized may be this campaign worked because we were requesting for sanitary pads and not money.  This campaign also helped us to use the online social media for future campaigns.  Even though most of the time we work from home, but reaching people like for distribution of relief materials and sanitary pads cannot be done work from home, our filed staff have to visit the field and motivate the local CBOs-Community Based Organizations, for us it is our own "Manushi' domestic workers association, 'Maithri' single women's association and 'Snehidhi' adolescent girls association to choose the beneficiaries, because of limited resources we could distribute the relief materials and sanitary pads all the women and girls.  This activities also helped the CBOs to become active.  For sanitary pads the 'Snehidhi' adolescent girls have selected 2000 girls for the sanitary pads and they have organized the distribution of it mostly house to house distribution, or in small groups.  Identifying beneficiaries helped us to think about creating a database of our target women and adolescent girls No we are in the process of helping the 12th standard passed girls who wish to go for higher education that is undergraduate level.  But most of the parents and girls don't want to continue their education because it is online and they don't have the necessary equipment, college education is also expensive. Parents started thinking about their daughters marriage.  In fact during this Covid 19 lockdown the number of child marriages and abuse of girl children have increased. Another thing happened is after seeing our sanitary pad campaign a multinational company gave chocolates to distribute among children. The chocolates were expensive and big so we have divided it among 2 children and in Total distributed to 1000 children.  Children were so happy to receive chocolates and eat it, may be this is the first time they eat such expensive chocolates. This also helped us to reflect on why we are not distributing fun foods like chocolates and ice creams to children, our idea of supplementary food for children is based on nutrition, we realized this is very important but being children they also need fun foods like chocolates and ice creams, may be in future once is while also try to provide this.

We are in the process of changing our work pattern based on the Covid 19 realities like using more digital tools, help adolescent girls in their online education. Like the poor adolescent girls missing online classes because they don't have smartphones or broadband connections, we also don't have the necessary resources to digitalize our activities and reach girls and women during this critical time.  We are making attempts and hope we will overcome all the difficulties with the help of women and girls.

 

 

 

 

 

Girls eating chocolates
Girls eating chocolates
Girls with free sanitary pads
Girls with free sanitary pads
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News
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Centre for Women's Development and Research-CWDR

Periods Don't stop for  Covid -19 Pandemic, Help Girls

Project No: #46567

Update April 2021

 

'Periods Don't stop for Covid-19 Pandemic, Help Girls' when we uploaded this project during April 2020, we thought we will remove it within 6 months but we could not do that because the Covid 19 cases are now increasing manyfold in India and Chennai city.  Yesterday the Covid 19 cases exceeded 200,000 the highest in the world and India overtaken USA and become first.  In Chennai from March 500 cases yesterday it is more than 2000 cases. The 10th and 12 standard classes were opened briefly during January but again now closed because of the increase in Covid cases all the examinations up to 10th standard is cancelled. Now 12th standard examination is postponed.  When schools close down children not only lose their education they also lose their mid-day meals.  For adolescent girls lose the free sanitary pads and supplementary nutrition because all these are distributed through schools.

On the other During Covid lock down the number of rapes, violence against women, illegal abortions, child marriages increased.side. UN called it as 'Shadow Pandemic". The Tamilnadu assembly adopted a bill to increase the punishment for offences against women and children.  The maximum punishment is now 10 years increased from earlier 7 years.  But India has so many laws but implementation is poor. During the last few years the various institutional failures of state machinery

from parliament to the judiciary to law enforcement officers have contributed to the dismal state of women’s rights in India. Last year the chief justice of India was accused of sexual harassment of Dalit woman employee. A woman IPS-Indian Police Service officer, complained against the DGP-Director General of Police in Chennai during March 2021. During January 2021 the Bombay high court in a judgement said  that pressing the breast of a 12-year old child without removing her top will not fall within the definition of ‘sexual assault’ under Section 7 the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act(POCSO). The Judge given this verdict is a woman judge. Fortunately Suprema court stayed this judgement.

In such conditions our only hope is the Adolescent girls that is our 'Snehidhi' adolescent girls association members and our field staff.  We continued all our activities except the supplementary education classes. Our field workers and slum level Snehidhi leaders carried out most of the activities like life skill, sexuality education with necessary precautions, preventive measure to avoid Covid 19 through house visits and small group meetings. 400 adolescent girls benefitted from these activities. The best part we continued our advocacy activities demanding the government to provide free sanitary pads, clean toilets and clean water in the public places.  They also organized human chains, signature campaigns in the slums. We have also popularized our mobile app 'Snehidhi' among adolescent girls. Nearly 2000 girls benefitted from these activities. 

Most of the adolescent girls lost interest in online classes one of the reasons is they do not have the necessary gadgets like smartphones and broadband connections. They also said it is boring because most of the teachers just play YouTube videos instead of interactive teaching.  Their parents are yet to get regular work, particularly their mothers women domestic workers.  All of them lost their work, now people are hesitating to take them back because they are from slums, may come and infect hem with corona virus. In this situation in the next academic year that is May/June they may not able to pay the school fees.  The first causality will be girl children’s education. During January with local donations we have distributed Rs.1000 motivational scholarships for 75 girls to motivate them to continue their education and not to drop out.  Our staff members have also organize field level mothers meeting, to find ways of solving these issues, and make sure their daughters continue their education.

There is also funding crunch we could not mobilize enough funds for this cause. We also could not get whatever funds we have raised through GlobalGiving site because of some administrative issues like they could not get the permission under FCRA-Foreign Contribution Regulations act.  But the situation also helps the girl, parents they cannot depend on outside help for their survival and education, they have to find ways of becoming self-reliant and self-sustainable.  We are also discussing with them to develop strategies to become self-reliant and self-sustainable and face new increased Covid pandemic.

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Sanitary pad distribution
Sanitary pad distribution

Centre for Women's Development and Research-CWDR

Periods Don't stop for  Covid -19 Pandemic, Help Girls

Project No: #46567

Update December  2020

 

When we started writing this report the TV news (16th December 2020)says Tamilnadu Government had allotted Rs.44 crores for the menstrual hygiene and free sanitary pads schemes for adolescent girls from urban area. When the Covid 19 lockdown was announced we initiated this project with the idea of carrying out an advocacy campaign Periods Don't stop for  Covid -19 Pandemic.  We have sent memorandums with adolescent girls signatures to extend and continue the free sanitary pads schemes in urban areas because it was stopped due to the Covid 19 lockdown of schools. We could also able to get the media attention for this campaign.

We already had distributed free sanitary pads for nearly 15,000 adolescent girls, most of the sanitary pads were mobilised through local donations. We have also received 1500 sanitary pads from Goonj an organization recycling old clothes and make reusable sanitary pads. The distribution is done through our 'Snehidhi' network for Adolescent Girl's SRHR-Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. 24 NGOs are part of it. Actually we planned to reach out to only 1000 adolescent girls from our working area.  This is one of the biggest achievement for us during the Covid 19 lockdown and when schools are closed down. As part of the advocacy campaign we have reached college students and professional young women requesting them to donate free sanitary pads, this also helped us to educate them about SRHR-Sexual Reproductive Health Rights of adolescent girls and young women.   The new government order and the scheme will help 1.5 million adolescent girls in government schools in urban areas. We are very happy about this.

In addition to distribution of sanitary pads we have been educating adolescent girls about SRHR, health, nutrition and Covid 19 prevention.  Nearly 1000 adolescent girls are benefitting from this activities. One of the important learnings during this period is the use of digital tools for meetings, fundraising, and advocacy activities. During November/December 'Nivar' and 'Bhuvari' back to back cyclones affected our working area, that again affected the sexual reproductive health of adolescent girls, but now the government had sanctioned and extended the menstrual hygiene and free pad schemes to urban areas of Tamilnadu, that would help the adolescent girls.

Sexual Reproductive Health Education
Sexual Reproductive Health Education
MHM-Menstrual Hygiene Management education
MHM-Menstrual Hygiene Management education
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Sanitary pad distribution in a slum
Sanitary pad distribution in a slum

Centre for Women's Development and Research-CWDR

Periods Don't stop for  Covid -19 Pandemic, Help Girls

Project No: #46567

Update August 2020

On 15th August 2020 in his Independence Day speech from Red fort to the Nation our Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji have mentioned about menstruation and the governments 1 Rupee sanitary pad scheme. It was unprecedented, hope this will start breaking the taboo of talking about menstruation in India.  

From day Covid 19 lockdown was announce in Tamilnadu that is during March we have been requesting the Tamilnadu Government to add reproductive health is a essential service and make sure the availability of free sanitary pad to adolescent girls that was distributed in schools.  Since the schools were closed we requested to distribute in their homes. This is yet to happen, as part of our advocacy activities we have sent letter to the Tamilnadu, Chief Ministers, health minister and social welfare minister, also shared our opinions with the media. In all our relief activities displayed banners demanding free pads. Where ever it is possible we have also included sanitary pads as relief material.

Our biggest achievement is we could able to give 2 packets of sanitary pads with a soap to 1500 adolescent girls from our working slums. Along with that we have also distributed a pamphlet explaining how to make cotton sanitary pads at home with old clean cotton cloth, the pamphlet also has information about the precautions to be taken to prevent Covid 19.  All these are  done with local donations.  We have been educating college girls and middle-class working women about the plight of adolescent girls like how their poverty particularly now when their parents have work because of Covid lockdown, makes it difficult to buy sanitary pads. Request them to buy one packet of sanitary pads for the adolescent girls. The response was not very encouraging but still we could able to get 100 packets of sanitary pads

On 28th May international menstruation day we have organized programmes to educate the public about the menstrual hygiene. On that day We have also distributed sanitary pads to 500 girls from our working area.  Most of the sanitary pads were distributed at their homes, some are distributed in public places so that people can see and learn about the importance of Menstrual hygiene, banners were displayed and handbills were distributed.  All these done with maximum care using Covid 19 preventive measures.  Initially there was some problem because government did not allow the NGOs to visit the slums to distribute relief materials but later it was removed.

We could able to reach to more people, involve in advocacy activities distributed sanitary pads, soaps, masks, education materials to more than 3000 adolescent girls even during this Covid lockdown and we are happy about that.

Menstrual Hygiene day
Menstrual Hygiene day
Sanitary pad distribution and public education
Sanitary pad distribution and public education

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Center for Women's Development and Research

Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu - India
Website:
Project Leader:
K. R. Renuka
Director, C.W.D.R
Chennai, Tamil Nadu India
$1,781 raised of $20,000 goal
 
30 donations
$18,219 to go
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