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Chhupi Todo, Swasth Raho Abhiyaan on Menstrual Hygiene Management launched in Jharkhand

Ranchi, Jharkhand | ,May | 24, 2019 :: ’Chhupi Todo, swasth Raho Abhiyaan’ (Break the silence -Be healthy) on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) was launched here today. NFHS 4 (2014-15) data reveals that only 39.4% of women in the age 15-24 years use hygienic method of protection during their menstrual period in rural Jharkhand. The Government of Jharkhand recognizes that menstrual hygiene is fundamental to the dignity and wellbeing of every girl and women.

As part of ODF sustainability and the Jharkhand MHM action plan, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of Jharkhand has launched a month-long campaign starting 28 May 2019. Through this campaign the Government seeks to generate mass awareness on MHM, addressing the specific needs of adolescent girl and also support the family, peers, community, and parents to break the stigma associated with MHM.

Campaign Focus areas

 Week 1: District level campaign launching in each district (28 May) focussed on orientation down to the gram panchayat level, development of district action plan on MHM and special gram sabha i.e swachhta sabha on MHM on 2 June in each gram panchayat
 Week 2: Awareness campaign through adolescent groups with special focus on safe disposal of absorbents on 5 June (Environment day) and adolescent clinics in gram panchayats
 Week 3: Intensive IEC, brothers meetings, sisters meeting, mothers group meeting, evening meetings and screening of films (Amma ji)
 Week 4: Sanitation day in all schools, anganwadi centres and health care facilities to focus on MHM; organize quiz, essay competition and orientation meetings for religious leaders.
The workshop being organized as part of the launch will bring together senior level officials from Departments of Water & Sanitation, Health, Women & Child Development; Education, Panchayati Raj and other stakeholders including development partners, NGO’s, academia, PRI representatives and youth leaders on raising awareness on MHM.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Aradhana Patnaik, Secretary, Department of Water & Sanitation said, “Jharkhand has been declared ODF and one of the major components under the Swach Bharat Abhiyaan – Grameen has been solid liquid waste management and MHM. Menstrual practices are influenced by taboos and socio-cultural restrictions for women and adolescent girls.”

Dr Madhulika Jonathan, Chief of UNICEF Jharkhand said “Menstrual practices are influenced by taboos and socio-cultural restrictions for all women and adolescent girls. The lack of access to menstrual hygiene (which includes sanitary napkins in schools/household, availability of water, privacy and safe disposal) restrict school attendance, social mobility and contribute to poor and failing health. Hence, integration of MHM into everyday life is important as it would not only help in achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 (Gender equality & Women Empowerment) but also to a large extent SDG 10 (Reduce Inequality).”

Mr Abu Imran, Director SBM said, “Menstruation is a natural biological process but is rarely talked about due to various misconceptions. As a result, millions continue to be denied of their rights not only to WASH facilities but also health, education, dignity, gender and equity.”

During the programme, information, education and communication material for the campaign was also launched.

Mr. Samir Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India said we need to look at sanitation as a comprehensive programme and this month long campaign will build on the gains of SBM in Jharkhand.

The workshop was attended by all executive engineers of the Department of Drinking water & Sanitation; senior officials from education, health, international and national NGOs, teachers and school students.

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