New Delhi: Menstrual hygiene continues to be a problem in many parts of our country, particularly in rural areas, due to a lack of knowledge and education among teenage girls and women about Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM). Women in rural India continue to use handmade alternatives such as hay, dried leaves, newspapers, and old carpets during their periods, posing health risks.
On the occasion of World Menstrual Hygiene Day, Akhil Bharatiya Gramin Uthaan Samiti (ABGUS) in partnership with SBI Foundation conducted an awareness programme named Mahavaari Nahi Maha Naari that was aimed at informing females about menstrual hygiene management. The programme targeted villages in Haryana and Rajasthan, consisting of a total population of approximately 5000. The NGO with the support of Rajasthan’s Health Department distributed Sanitary Napkins and provided the girls with iron tablets and ORS packets.
Commenting on the awareness programme’s successful implementation, Rajesh Verma; Founder of Akhil Bharatiya Gramin Uthaan Samiti (ABGUS) said, “We at ABGUS, want to provide an environment where women can learn more about the importance of menstrual hygiene. By conducting this programme, we want them to understand that menstruation is a natural occurrence that should be treated as such. Therefore, through this campaign, we discussed and shared information on what Mensuration is and its challenges, breaking the social myths and taboos, maintaining health and hygiene during menstruation, and taking proper care, and more. We are pleased that the women of these villages recognised the necessity of proper menstrual hygiene and we’re thankful to Rajasthan Health Department for supporting our cause and helping us to reach out and educate women. We look forward to helping more people in the future and educate women as well as men about menstruation and maintaining hygiene.”
Menstruation is still perceived as a taboo in many parts of our country where people are still not comfortable talking about it. As a result, many women face difficulties not just at home but also in public places. It is also one of the causes that period poverty is still prevalent in some parts of the country. Many households neglect menstrual hygiene simply due to a lack of knowledge. For the past three decades, Akhil Bhartiya Gramin Uthan Samiti (ABGUS) has been working for Child and women development and has conducted several awareness programmes and campaigns to empower and educate the weaker and backward sections of the society. Women and girl children constitute a large number of rural uneducated population. Its campaigns include Skill Development: both vocational and life skills, Child Development, Quality Education, Women Empowerment, and more alongside building capacities of intermediary community-based organisations and leaders for sustainable community development with local communities.