#PeriodPaath: Panchayat School Girls Don’t Know What Anwesha Clinics Are?

Editor’s Note: This post is an entry for the #Periodपाठ writing contest, a unique opportunity for you to write a letter and stand a chance of winning up to ₹30,000! The contest is organised by Youth Ki Awaaz in collaboration with WSSCC. Find out more here and submit your entry!

Vinaya Bhavana,Department of Education,

Santiniketan, Visva Bharati, West Bengal

Bolpur- 731235

15th March 2020

The Block Development Officer, Sriniketan Road,

Santiniketan, Bolpur – 731236

Subject – Menstrual hygiene of school girls

Sir,

Socio-cultural taboos have a crustacean shell and communication is the key to break the ice. Menstrual hygiene was a woman’s issue and it remains unchanged till date. Anwesha clinics were meant to be the backbone of every block primary healthcare centre, their primary work being counseling adolescent girls and boys regarding mental and physical health and socio-cultural taboos.

Despite equipping the workers with free sanitary napkins and training skills, they frequently run out of sanitary napkin (pads) supplies, a certain number of rural and tribal girls till date use cloth instead of pads, have confusion how to wear a pad, pad quality remains unchecked and a large number of panchayat school girls do not know whom to talk to about their period issues. Moreover, most people in the block are unaware about Anwesha clinic(s).

An active dialogue with the panchayat school principals and panchayat heads every month can form a feedback loop. School toilets should be provided with uninterrupted safe running water, regular supply of soaps and sanitary napkins through vending machines. Anwesha clinic workers must visit the schools every week for interactive sessions with students, parents and teachers instead of girls and boys being called to the clinics. Lastly, corporate sector and social activists can be brought in the loop to provide good quality pads and better training to the health workers.

Hope is where we work together and as a citizen I hope this letter finds its purpose.

Thanks and regards

Ayesha Roy

 

Source : Mukhopadhyay Chitra, A case study on Mentrual hygiene behaviour, knowledge and related social taboos in rural, urban and tribal community amongst  school going girls in Bolpur Sriniketan block, Birbhum district, West Bengal, Masters Dissertation, Departent of Geography, Visva Bharati, 2015 [offline]

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