The Hon’ble Minister
Women’s Development and Child Welfare,
Hyderabad, Telangana State
Subject: – Seeking your intervention in creating public awareness on Menstruation-Req-Reg.
During the process of working with communities of Telalagna, our major focus on Girl’s education with the objectives of ensuring that adolescent girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary school education.
Room to Read believes that in addition to a girl completing grade 12, education is also about her participating actively in her school life and exploring her own choices, skills, requirements and be able to find out the means to make the things possible.
We also work with different stakeholders to make them engaged, informed to work towards sustainability in this process. We conduct meetings and workshops periodically with teachers, parents, SMC, and Community members on issues related to girls and knowledge building on various themes which enable them to think and work towards gender equality in the community.
About 1602 children from 4 districts are continuing in our program and they are in between 6-12 classes also nearly 400 girls are graduated from the program and continuing their further studies and leading their lives through using their skills in their daily life. Every girl is having different issues/problems/challenges they came across and acting herself as a change agent in their locality.
This week, I got an opportunity to interact with my team members during our program review of Hyderabad location. Our team member (“Social Mobiliser” who works closely with girls at the field) narrated a recent incident.
A girl of an 8th class attained second-time menstruation and by that time mother was far away from her house as she is working as a housekeeping staff member in an office after receiving this information she was undergone much stress because no one was available at house during that particular time, there are no familiar persons in the neighbouring And girl also very new to all these happening, she has many questions in her mind like how is my child now? How she was feeling? Does she able to arrange sanitary napkins? And also worried about hygienic related issues.
With all these thoughts mother rushed home and reached home after 2 hours. She was very surprised, the girl was confidently dealt the situation through her gained knowledge through life skills and another sharing’s among the children during club and mentoring session.
But still, mother was not satisfied and felt the need of creating minimum awareness among the family members about menstruation and menstrual hygiene and need of family members support during menstruation. She called her son who is 18 years old and explained him about the menstruation process saying that it is a very common in girls and women, the psychological status of the newly attained girls, and the need to maintain hygiene during that time. She also said that, if needed you also can buy sanitary napkins for her without any hesitation which are easily available in petty shops and medical shops.
Learnt this, I strongly felt that there is a much need to sensitize the family members about menstruation and menstrual hygiene, there are many incidences where many of the girls/women are not disclosing their menstruation and issues with the family members and hesitates to carry the sanitary napkins in front of them. Hence, the intervals of changing the sanitary napkins were postponing which sometimes lead to reproductive infections.
This experience has made me to recommend that there is an urgent need to focus on creating awareness among the communities through behaviour change communication or advertisements. As the family members are the first line supportive systems for the girls to understand and support during their menstruation to go through with happy periods. It also somewhere breaks the myths and stereotypes related to gender and menstruation.
I trust, the points mentioned above are valued and timely action would be taken in this regard.
Thanking You Madam
Praveen Kumar Reddy Ippa
Room to Read India Trust