Call for promotion of awareness of menstrual hygiene

RDWS and Save the Child Foundation work to combat period poverty, providing menstrual hygiene products and education to girls in tribal areas on Visakha Agency

Published - May 27, 2024 08:29 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Ooha Mahanti, director of RDWS, an NGO, with the children after distributing sanitary pads to the girls in tribal areas of Visakha Agency.

Ooha Mahanti, director of RDWS, an NGO, with the children after distributing sanitary pads to the girls in tribal areas of Visakha Agency. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The inability to afford menstrual care products not only affects physical health but also infringes upon fundamental rights, perpetuates gender inequality, and deepens social and economic disparities, says Ooha Mahanthi, director of Rural Development Welfare Society (RDWS), an NGO that has been working to promote menstrual health.

Ms. Ooha, who has been conducting awareness campaigns and distributing sanitary pads and basic medicines in the tribal areas of the North Andhra region for the past eight years, says that the issue of period poverty is a silent crisis impacting millions of girls and women worldwide. She emphasises on the urgent need to address period poverty, particularly among the marginalised communities such as urban slums, villages and tribal areas, in a statement on Monday, on the eve of Menstrual Hygiene Day.

This year’s theme, ‘Together for a #PeriodFriendlyWorld, ’ highlights the collective effort required to destigmatise menstruation, promote menstrual health education, and ensure that every girl can manage her period with dignity.

RDWS, in partnership with Save the Child Foundation, a non-profit organisation headquartered in Frisco, Texas, has been working for this cause. With operations spanning over 15 countries, including India, and Save the Child Foundation, through strategic collaborations with local NGOs like RDWS, the SCF has made significant contributions to combating period poverty. With grants exceeding $4 million, they have positively impacted the lives of over 2,50,000 girls by providing essential menstrual hygiene products and education, Ms. Ooha said.

In India, RDWS and Save the Child India are reaching out to girls in shelter homes and slums across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and beyond. This Menstrual Hygiene Day, their goal is to distribute over 30,000 pads, empowering girls to manage their periods with dignity and attend school without stigma.

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