Menstruation isn’t impure. Is it? We started Project Atmashakti in Angul, Odisha to address such notions and to promote menstrual hygiene.
With the health of Odisha Livelihoods Mission, Angul Municipality and CSR support from Amritesh Private Limited, we launched Project Atmashakti to advance the cause of health and hygiene among girls and women in Angul, Odisha.
Poor alternatives to menstrual protection like newspapers and old rags increase the risk of infections such as urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginosis. It can also have direct implications on reproductive health. Therefore addressing these issues becomes extremely important.
Here’s a breakdown of how Project Atmashakti achieved its goal of sensitizing the women of Angul about menstrual health and hygiene.
Day 1 of Angul Atmashakti Project:
A remarkable turnover of over 500 women from 20 self-groups in Angul was observed. The keynote speakers for the day, Mrs Nabanita Banerjee, the director of We Foundation, Mr Ramakant Singh, City Mission Manager representing Angul Municipality and delegates from Amritesh Industries Private Limited began the discourse on the various myths related to menstruation and addressed them individually.
A sanitary napkin kit distribution followed the discussion. Each woman received five packs of menstrual kits to promote a behavioural change.
Pioneering a unique approach, Dr Biswabichitra Jena, Angul District Officer, and Dr Subhra Mallsha, VBD specialist at Angul District Hospital, utilized the event as a platform to foster awareness about mosquito-borne illnesses such as Malaria and Filaria. This marked the end of our Day 1 Programme.
Day 2 of Angul Atmashakti Project:
On the second day of distribution, our efforts to provide sanitary napkins continued diligently. The initial count of 800 women from the 20 self-help groups surpassed 880, necessitating an adjustment in our approach. We started allocating 4 packets of sanitary napkins to each woman to ensure equitable access to all those present.
Day 3 of Angul Atmashakti Project
On the final day of the Angul campaign, pivotal core groups were created to oversee and ensure the effective utilisation of sanitary napkins.
These groups were created with 20 women, with two women representing each ward to not only monitor the use of the sanitary kits but also to provide help in data updation about menstrual health and age of the women of Angul.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, the core groups were trained to facilitate house visits for monitoring the use of menstrual kits and to ensure the practice continues. Women were chosen from each ward to have a diverse group. These women would create effective linkages between adolescents and government schemes like Kishori Shakti Yojana.
Let’s celebrate women’s menstrual cycle and pledge to gift girls improved menstrual health! By raising awareness, we can empower women to embrace their bodies and lives with confidence and dignity. This journey towards improved menstrual health is a testament to our collective dedication to equality,