Sangini - Breaking through the cultural taboos
While there are several days dedicated to women and girls that are observed worldwide there was nothing to break the cultural taboos associated with menstruation. In light of this, a German NGO, “WASH United”, took the initiative of dedicating a day on menstrual health of women, create awareness and initiate a journey from the so-called “impurity” associated with monthly cycles to health management. The initiative that started during 2012, with a small group of people received the support of 270 countries globally and 28th May came to be known as Menstrual health day (MHD). As Deepalaya has been actively working on menstrual health of women, the day was celebrated amongst adolescent girls studying in Tilak Nagar and Khyala vocational training units.
The idea was to introduce Sangini napkins and to promote healthy practices during menstrual periods. The students were engaged in making informative posters and Three educative interactive sessions were also conducted for spreading knowledge
They were informed by the center heads – Ms. Rubeena and Ms. Pooja -- that unhygienic practices in personal hygiene especially during menstrual periods can result into severe health problems ranging from internal allergies & infections to infertility and cervical cancer in extreme cases.
There were talks on how and why the females menstruate. Women shared the kind of problems they face during the periods and also the kind of myths and practices that are prevalent in their communities.
As most of the participants were teenager girls the emphasis was more on creating a mindset of confidence rather than anxiety. It is often seen as a major reason of girls of this age group dropping out of their studies as they feel shy or find it difficult to manage their periods and better menstrual hygiene management can help them in becoming independent. Around 40 students participated in the sessions. Most of the participants found the session very informative and useful.