On a mission to promote menstrual hygiene

Telangana doctor gives up job to educate rural girls, gives napkins free

Updated - November 10, 2017 12:56 am IST

Published - November 10, 2017 12:55 am IST - WARANGAL URBAN DT

Useful initiative: Pathologist Kadiyam Kavya interacting with girl students at Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya at Devaruppula mandal in Jangaon district as part of her movement of educating girls on menstural hygiene.

Useful initiative: Pathologist Kadiyam Kavya interacting with girl students at Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya at Devaruppula mandal in Jangaon district as part of her movement of educating girls on menstural hygiene.

Two young medical professionals, pathologist Kadiyam Kavya and her friend gynaecologist Priti Dayal, are espousing a unique cause — going round rural schools not only educating the girls on menstrual hygiene, but also supplying them sanitary napkins free for one year.

According to Ms Kavya, about 80 per cent of the women do not use sanitary napkins, particularly those in rural parts, leading to severe health complications. Most of the girls, after attaining puberty, drop out of schools due to ignorance and lack of accessibility to sanitary napkins.

Speaking to The Hindu , she said ironically parents in villages celebrate the occasion of puberty planning a big feast. But they hardly bother about the girl’s physiological changes post-puberty. Whenever the health of the girl child comes up for discussion, they brush off the matter saying she is anyway to be married off soon.

“The condition of girls is pathetic in villages. We are focusing on girls studying in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas across the district. During periods, they skip classes or go home, missing education. They cannot afford sanitary napkins or have access to them even if they could buy,” Ms Kavya explained.

Ms Kavya, having toured 10 government schools reaching out to 2,000 girls so far during the last eight months, gave up her lucrative job to take up the cause full time now. She says she was moved by the lack of awareness on the topic among girls during her interaction with them. “We are supplying sanitary napkins free after explaining them the importance of hygiene during menstruation period. We are roping in SHG women in preparing low-cost sanitary napkins to meet the demand,” she explained.

Addressing the high school girls at KGBV in Devaruppula mandal, she exhorted them not to shy from discussing the problems with their classmates and parents. After an awareness lecture, she wanted them to share their knowledge with their siblings and other girls and educate them on the use of sanitary napkins.

Devaruppula MPTC Daravath Vinoda was appreciative of the move . Speaking to The Hindu , she said it was the most needed help for tribal and dalit girls.

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