12-year-old Bholi’s uterus was removed because she had contracted a reproductive tract infection. Bholi hails from a small village in Madhya Pradesh and represents a large population of Indian women who suffer at the hands of illiteracy. Just like Bholi, millions of women in India fall prey to poor sanitation and menstrual hygiene.
Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is a problem for adolescent girls and women in India, particularly when attending school. Lack of education and hygienic MHM products causes girls to experience menstruation as shameful and uncomfortable. Qualitative studies report girls’ fear and humiliation, and lead menstruating girls to absent themselves from school. Cultural taboos add to girls’ difficulties, and insufficient MHM may result in medical complications involving the urinary and genital tracts.
In keeping with the vision of the All India Professionals’ Congress (AIPC) that is community building, knowledge sharing, collaboration and activism, AIPC Uttar Pradesh, under the leadership of its President Dr Ameeta Sinh, is supporting the “Meri PAD Yatra” initiative. The main aim of this campaign is to provide rural women a safe space where they can discuss their challenges related to menstruation freely, and to sensitize them about proper Menstrual Hygiene Management.
The mission is to work towards breaking the stigma around menstruation, and our aspiration is to create a future where menstruation is not a taboo but a welcoming change in a girl's life.
We, at Meri Pad Yatra, propose to work closely with adolescent girls and women in the state who are most vulnerable and have no access to menstrual hygiene products, by providing them education and awareness around proper Menstrual Hygiene Management, and a year’s supply of environment friendly and reusable sanitary napkins.
The project, proposed to be launched in September 2018, would have a manifold impact on the community, which includes improved menstrual hygiene, better biomedical waste management, improved women's reproductive health, and a reduced rate of school drop-out and work absenteeism.
Our efforts would not reach their maximum effectiveness unless we have the backing of the entire community.
If you are reading this, we have managed to reach out to you. Be the Catalyst for Change – help one woman shed all chains & rise!