“The provision of a Sanitary Pad Bank and Question Box in the school has brought about a much needed change for the girls”
Ms. Snehlata, Principal, Govt. Senior Secondary School, Kanina Mandi, Mahendragarh, Haryana
Two years ago, when the team from Bharti Foundation visited Government Senior Secondary School, Kanina Mandi in Mahendragarh (Haryana) they found that student attendance was at an all-time low. It soon became apparent that it was the girl students who abstained from attending school during their menstruation cycle, they found it embarrassing to change sanitary towels in toilets with broken doors. Menstrual hygiene continues to remain taboo even today, causing girls to go deeper into their shells as they hesitate to voice their concerns.
Ms. Snehlata, Principal of Govt. Senior Secondary School, Kanina Mandi, Mahendragarh, Haryana, under the Foundation’s Satya Bharti Quality Support Program, was determined to find a solution to this problem and therefore initiated a lecture series with the support of the hands-on team from Bharti Foundation. A lecture on ‘Adolescent issues with focus on menstrual hygiene – Myths and Misconceptions’ was initiated at the school by the Foundation team, with the aim of providing information and knowledge to adolescent girls on menstruation and personal hygiene.
The girls were not only encouraged to shed their inhibitions by taking part in an open discussion on personal hygiene, they were also guided through hand holding support that encouraged them think through and find solutions to their problems. To supplement this initiative, a ‘Sanitary Pad Bank’ was proposed by the Bharti Foundation team. Sanitary Pads were procured and stored at school and the distribution was personally overseen by Ms. Snehlata. Further, a discreet question box was placed in the school which encouraged the girls to drop any menstruation or women’s health related queries in the box.
This novel approach in a rural context has directly resulted in an increase in girl student attendance and thereby led to the uninterrupted education of the girl child in the school.
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