Menstrual hygiene workshopaizakrishna
Hygiene is a state of purity, clarity and precision
Menstruation is a natural process of the female reproductive system. However, in Indian society, it is considered as a taboo where even its mention is embarrassing. It is related directly to the culture and perceived as ritually unclean. Menstruation is the onset of maturity in a girl’s life but is often considered as a negative stigma that reinforces the idea that it is something shameful and hidden. Moreover, there are various superstitions prevailing related to it both in urban and rural areas.
Hygiene management at the time of menstruation is quite significant. But there is a lack of awareness among women and girls related to it. Those belonging to rural areas suffer more as they find it difficult to even talk about in family, friends and public.
Inaccurate or incomplete knowledge about menstruation is a significant hindrance in the path of menstrual hygiene management. Girls and women have very less or no knowledge about reproductive tract infections caused due to ignorance of personal hygiene during menstruation time. In rural areas, women either do not have access to sanitary napkins or they are unaware of their proper use and disposal. You would be surprised to know that most of the underprivileged girls even lack basic inner clothing.
This called for a campaign to raise awareness regarding menstruation hygiene. Voice of Slum has been working towards educating slum kids for a long time. We have always supported the girl’s education and taken it as a priority. Recently, we organized a menstruation hygiene workshop to help girls belonging to poor household know about menstruation cleanliness. The workshop was attended by around 100 girls.
The workshop was conducted with an aim to talk about more and more about safe menstrual practice and issues in maintaining hygiene. Voice of Slum also discussed on hygiene practices such as the use of sanitary napkins, washing and cleaning. Girls were given useful information on the correct way of disposing napkins followed by precautions to be taken during the period.
It also included giving knowledge on dietary habits so as to enable them to lead a healthy reproductive life in future. We also gave an overview of menstruation disorders in body such as any kind of pelvic inflammatory infections due to lack of adequate hygiene.
It is also a known fact that sanitary napkins are not affordable by everyone especially girls belonging from poor income families. Keeping this is mind, we also talked about reusable and washable cloth pads. These prove to be a sustainable sanitary option but must be hygienically washed and dried in the sunlight. Sun’s heat is considered a natural sterilizer and drying cloth pads under it sterilizes them for future use. They are even cost-effective and eco-friendly.
In this respect, we also distributed eco-friendly sanitary napkins to the girls which are not harmful to the body as well as the environment. With this, we also gave some basic education on hygiene measures like changing pads regularly, use of clean clothes, cleaning the vaginal area using warm water frequently.
It has now become critical that discussion about menstruation be mainstreamed as a normal biological process. It is a fundamental developmental milestone and a vital health sign. Girls and women also need to be enabled to manage their period with confidence and dignity. As a global community, it is now our responsibility to invest in the research to make people understand the links between menstruation and associated social and physical health outcomes. We need to promote more and more talking on menstrual freely so that girls do not feel shameful about it.
With the workshop, Voice of Slum pledges to raise awareness on menstrual hygiene on a larger platform in future with an aim to educate a larger number of girls.