Today is the first-ever Menstrual Hygiene Day. Celebrated all across the world to spread menstrual awareness, Menstrual Hygiene Day is organized to build awareness about hygiene and enabling girls across the world to experience safer periods without any taboos. We think it’s about time someone shone spotlight on one of the most neglected issues in India as well.
Did you know most women in India do not have access to the most basic means to manage their periods? According to statistics, 23% of girls drop their school because of periods. From a lack of sanitation facilities to no access to hygiene products and taboos surrounding menstruation, most girls fall prey to infections and consequently leave schools, leading to a loss of opportunity.
At Bella India, we strongly believe no one should miss out on opportunities just because of a period. Over the last six years, we have been at the forefront of spreading menstrual awareness to school and college girls in Tamil Nadu (TN), Kerala and Karnataka. Lack of access to menstrual products affects millions of girls across India.
Our solution — we partnered with 4 social bodies: Chennai Corporation, Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) and Integrated Village Development Project (IVDP) from Krishnagiri, Annamal College Education for Women, Subbiah Vidayalayam & GHSS, Tuticorin as well as many other entities promoting hygiene education and supplying sanitary napkins to facilitate safe periods amongst girls.
The results were astounding, from lowering the incidences of uterine cancer to improving the lives of underprivileged girls, our work brought about a tremendous change.
Integrated Village Development Project (IVDP): Partnering since 2007, IVDP is the only NGO working in the Krishnagiri district for underprivileged women. Backed by training on hygiene issues and equipping women with sanitary napkins—a safe and hygienic way to experience periods, we significantly lower the incidences of uterine cancer amongst women.
Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC): When it comes to menstrual education, you must start young. That’s exactly what we did with TNMSC, in association with Rural Social Welfare at the behest of TN Ministry. We supplied sanitary napkins at Government schools across 14 districts of TN. The move helped girls experience safe periods and even improved their confidence.
Corporation of Chennai: Lack of means to experience periods safely and in a hygienic manner means missing the school. In 2008, Bella India became one of the suppliers of sanitary napkins to ten corporation schools in Chennai, helping the girls in continuing schools. Over the years, we have supplied sanitary napkins to 63 schools.
Annamal College Education for Women, Subbiah Vidayalayam GHSS, Tuticorin: From distributing pads to providing training on menstrual awareness, young girls have benefitted from sound advice on why one must maintain menstrual hygiene. We have conducted training in these schools every year.
28 May MENSTRUAL DAY
From supporting better access to education with a safe way to experience periods with sanitary napkins to minimizing the risk of uterine cancer and improving overall girl child health, Bella India shall continue taking steps in disseminating menstrual hygiene awareness.