#PeriodPaath: An Open Letter To Chairman SDDM For Menstrual Health Drive In Schools & Colleges

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To,

Pachu Ray

Chairman,

South Dum Dum Municipality,

Motijhil, Kolkata,

Subject: Request to start Menstrual Health Management Drive in educational institutions under the South Dum Dum Municipality.

Sir,

I, Srimati Ghosal, daughter of Benu Gopal Ghosal, resident of 47, Krishnapur Road, Nager Bazar Dum Dum, Kolkata- 28, am a voter from ward no. 26 represented by Councillor Smt. Kasturi Chowdhuri. I write to you to request a Menstrual Health Management drive to make sanitary napkin vending machines available in girls’ and co-educational institutions under the South Dum Dum Municipality.

The South Dum Dum Municipality encompasses two girls schools and two women’s colleges and there are five co-educational higher education institutions, where adolescent girls aged 13 and above are educated on a daily basis and introducing sanitary napkins to these young girls could be a definitive step towards better menstrual health for them.

While I shall leave you to decide on the details of the drive, I suggest that this drive, besides installing the vending machines, also has a group of trained local women instructors to teach the girls how to use the machine and educate the schoolgirls, especially about menstrual hygiene. This could simultaneously generate employment and hygiene awareness among women and girls.

A similar initiative was undertaken by Nirman Foundation in Purulia and since they have already worked with the West Bengal State Government to provide every school with 1835 boxes of sanitary napkins and installed a vending machine and an incinerator and shall be clear with the logistics involved in the drive it is advisable to seek their expertise on the drive. The Foundation also has designated training materials like the comic book “Ritukalin Bandhobi- Dolon Di”, Teachers training kits and resource booklets.

As you already know, this is not an alien concept in the city. I, myself a student at Presidency University, was a part of the drive that installed sanitary napkin vending machines in the university. Other than that, institutes like Jadavpur University, St.Xaviers College, Loreto College all have the facility of hygienic sanitation for woman-students on periods. As a concerned voter in the municipality, I find it imperative that cheap healthy sanitation should not be limited only to premier institutions but available to all girls across West Bengal and let our Municipality set an example of the same. As for myself, I pledge to provide all the support that a common citizen is capable of towards a better Menstrual Hygiene of our girls.

Sincerely yours,

Srimati Ghosal

47, Krishnapur Road,

Kolkata-700028

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