Poor menstrual health and hygiene is affecting girls and women in rural communities across India. There is limited access to safe sanitary care products or menstrual education. Social taboos, myths and misconceptions are still strong and not allowing for a conversation about periods. Project Pavitra is taking menstrual education to rural India and urban slums through inspired women volunteers.
Menstrual hygiene continues to be one of the most challenging development issues today in India, women and girls often lack access to hygienic sanitary material and basic facilities like sanitary pads that are necessary for good Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM). “Sanitary Protection: Every Woman’s Health Right” a study by AC Nielsen reveals only 12% of India’s 355 million women use sanitary pads. Over 88% of women resort to shocking alternatives like un-sanitised cloth, ashes and husk sand.
This sensitisation programme provides the knowhow to handle menstruation, improve a female’s knowledge of personal hygiene and boost their confidence by providing an answer to their doubts, misconceptions and questions through an interactive and an engaging training method in rural India. It also provides information to dispel myths and taboos surrounding this issue. Girls are also taught Yoga, Ayurvedic remedies and Pranayama (breathing exercises) that relieve menstrual discomfort.
Potential Long Term Impact
The project aims to provide a two-fold solution to menstrual problems by:
1. Generating awareness amongst adolescent girls about menstrual health and hygiene via sensitisation programme in rural areas and urban slums.
2. Distribution of eco-friendly sanitary pads for women.
The vision of the project is to empower girls with the knowledge and awareness on menstrual hygiene to manage their menstruation in a hygienic way in privacy, safely and with dignity at home, at school and in the community.