Pledge a Pad. The Gift of Dignity.
‘Project Butterfly’ is a menstrual hygiene awareness and management program specially designed for the underprivileged girls living in India.
The goal of this project is to instil confidence in girls and to empower them through provision of Sanitary napkins and capacity building on menstrual hygiene management education and facilities to the girls in school.
Let’s empower these adolescent girls by extending our support to this project and by sponsoring the girls for their menstrual hygiene and management.
All that is needed is a small amount of Indian Rupees five hundred (₹500) for whole one year for one girl child to manage her monthly menstrual flows hygienically and with dignity.
Come! Let’s Pledge a Pad. The Gift of Dignity. With this gift of dignity, we can help them transform their lives thereby transforming our communities and hence our Nation.
WHY THIS PROJECT BUTTERFLY ?
From our medical camp and research, we have learnt that a large number of underprivileged girls studying in Government schools drop out or miss their school days during menstruation for about 3-5 days every month just because of their inability and also due to lack of adequate knowledge to manage their menstrual flows hygienically.
We came across girls who used most unhygienic ways and means to manage their monthly flows. Some of which are using their old school socks at times filled with sand, old rags, dirty cloth, damp cloth, same cloth shared by the women in their family say sisters and mother, cloth never dried under the sun due to embarrassment which means it never gets disinfected, same pad being used for two continuous days as it still has the capacity to absorb etc..
The following are some of the major findings of our study coupled with the above shocking practices along with poor sanitation facilities at schools which influenced us to immediately identify these issues relating to menstrual hygiene and sanitation as need of the hour and address them accordingly.
Oh God! When will my turn come? :(
Please come out fast!
Unbearable sewage odor! But no choice :(
Yes ! These are our school urinals with no water connection. Looking neat right? Have a closer look and feel the smell. The only option available for all of us who fear to openly urinate in the bushes :(
Thank you English teacher for teaching us the meaning of the idiom ' Don't judge a book by its cover '
Don't Mistake them for shower taps!! ;) These are the taps which remind us their presence while we urinate
I need to change my sanitary pad now ! How do I enter? This is the only toilet which has a door and access to water
Uff!! finally i changed my soiled napkin. Yes, this is the place where we dispose our menstrual/sanitary wastes. It's not far away ... It's just in front of our toilets
We have decided to start this initiative as a pilot project covering four government schools and we hope that we will be able to replicate such programs for several other needy children too in the near future.
‘Project Butterfly' is not just about supplying the sanitary napkins to young girls in need but it also focuses on raising awareness and making a significant difference in their lives through proper education, counseling and monitoring the impact of this project on their well-being at regular intervals.
Ensuring regular supply of disposable pads at an affordable cost is quite challenging on one side, while safe disposal of these soiled napkins is an equally challenging issue on the other side that needs to be taken care of as unsafe disposal leads to environmental and health hazards.
Considering all these factors, this project is designed in such a way that not just team Anarghya along with volunteers, but also the girl herself, the school management and parents are all made responsible for helping and supporting the girls to manage their monthly flows hygienically and confidently thereby making an impact on improving the lives of these young girls.
EXPECTED RESULTS/OUTCOMES OF THIS PROJECT
Ultimately, this project helps the girls stay at school during menstruation and also helps them stay dignified as they will be bestowed with the necessary materials, knowledge and facilities to manage their menstruation hygienically and thus lead a healthy life with dignity.
Why does Menstrual Hygiene Matter?
Menstruation is a natural process. A woman menstruates for about 40 years in her lifetime and hence effective Menstrual Hygiene is vital to health, dignity, wellbeing and productivity of women and girls. But in most parts of our country it is still a taboo and hence is rarely talked about.
During menstruation, hygiene related practices of adolescent girls and women are of considerable importance as it may increase the vulnerability to Reproductive Tract Infections (RTI’s).
Some of the common infections associated with reproductive tract are:
• Bacterial vaginosis • Vulvovaginal candidiasis • Urinary Tract Infections • Hepatitis B
• Trichomonas Vaginalis • Pelvic inflammatory disease • Vaginitis • Syphilis • Chlamydia
To manage menstruation hygienically and with dignity, it is essential that women and girls have access to clean water, materials for absorbing menstrual blood, private spaces for washing and cleaning, facilities for safe disposal of used menstrual hygiene materials etc..
The following are the findings of the study carried out by global information and measurement company AC Nielsen, and reviewed and endorsed by NGO Plan India, throwing light on the dismal state of feminine hygiene care in India.
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