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‘Sangini’: A campaign to break the vicious circle of Menstrual Taboo

Delhi | April | 18, 2018 :: To spread awareness about, and to address the issues of menstrual health and hygiene and school dropouts amongst adolescent girls in the schools, District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), North-East in association with DLSA (Shahdara & East) and in co-ordination with Indian Medical Association, East Delhi Branch has initiated a campaign named ‘Sangini’.

It was observed that vast majority of adolescent girls studying in various schools of EDMC and Delhi Government are still facing significant barriers to comfortable and dignified experience with menstrual hygiene management.

The objective of campaign is to provide access and education about menstrual hygiene to adolescent girls aged 12 years onwards as these girls in schools who come from poor background are neither generally equipped nor educated by parents about menstruation and menstrual hygiene. The lack of education increases prevalence of unhygienic and unhealthy practices which increase abstinence and eventually dropout of schools.

This campaign is intended to undertake the task of spreading awareness about menstrual hygiene amongst adolescent girls in the schools. This campaign would not only sensitize the girl students on the aforesaid issue but also help them to continue their education.

The campaign was inaugurated today by Sh. Sanjeev Jain, Member Secretary, Delhi state Legal Services Authority at EDMC Auditorium in the presence of Dr. Neelam Lekhi, President, Indian Medical Association, judicial officers, doctors and teachers. Speaking at the inauguration, Mr. Sanjeev Jain, said that girls are directly or indirectly denied the fundamental right to education under the Indian Constitution when they have to dropout after entering the age of puberty due to certain biological changes in the body and due to lack of sanitary products. He said that it becomes imperative that girl students entering the age of puberty are sensitized about menstrual hygiene and every possible effort to help her continue her education.  He emphasised upon removing all roadblocks on the way to ensure education to girls including the lack of awareness on the process of menstruating and issues relating to menstrual hygiene.

Dr. Neelam Lekhi informed the participating 300 teachers of the government schools that IMA, East Delhi Branch would provide trained health counsellors to District Legal Services Authority to spread awareness on the issue to girl students.

Campaign ‘Sangini’ shall be executed at three levels by training the teachers on the aforesaid issue so as to ensure more sensitized and well-informed environment for the girl students in the schools; by educating  the girls about menstrual hygiene and safeguards, and providing access to trained female teachers or health counsellors in schools on regular basis for imparting education on this issue; and by making efforts to procure and distribute hygiene products to the adolescent girls studying in EDMC and Delhi Government schools.

As a part of the inaugural function, a Sensitization-cum-Training of Teachers Programme for one teacher of each school of EDMC and Delhi Government of trans-yamuna area was organised where more than 300 teachers participated. They were trained by Dr. Surabhi Singh, Gynaecologist and founder of NGO Sachhi Saheli.

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