(Plume of Freedom to Adolescent School Girls)
The Deuka Programmme was organized by Surya Gold Cement in October 2019 on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti with the theme "Swachhata Hi Swaasth He" means Cleanliness is Health at Tamulikuchi M.E. School Campus, Dist- Kamrup(M), Assam.
It is very difficult to discuss on Feminine Hygiene issues at home and in the neighborhood as women do not speak in front of male members even at home, because it is still regarded as something unclean or dirty in our society and it is linked with several misconceptions and practices, which sometimes result into adverse health outcomes.
Inadequate menstrual protection makes adolescent girls (group 12-18 years) miss 5 days of school in a month (50 days a year). Around 23% of these girls actually drop out of school after they started menstruating. Incidents of Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) is 70% more common among these women.
The Feminine Hygiene depends upon awareness and knowledge about the subject. Under the prevailing circumstances, the management of M/s Purbanchal Cement Ltd (Surya Gold Cement) has aimed to conduct a mission program on Menstrual Hygiene to bring awareness amongst the Girls students of its nearby schools along with their mother and teachers (female). The entire program was conducted in close door hall only with Female Doctors, Paramedical staff, Aasha Karmi. No male member have been allowed to enter the main session which was represented by the Female Senior Doctors.
The programme was inaugurated by the president of Surya Gold Cement Mr. Sunil Kr. Agarwal and Mr. Prasanta Jaganath -BEEO (Block Elementary Education Officer) lightening the lamp. Mr. Sunil Kr. Agarwal- president of Surya Gold Cement stated in his inauguration speech that we are very much concerned about the health of students whether it is male or female, both are vital for a health society and wellbeing of the state.
In this awareness program, two guest speakers (Female Doctors) were invited to share their knowledge:
In 1st Session of the programme Dr. (Mrs.) Prativa Agarwal - Sr. Gynecologist of Indira IVF Center from Guwahati shared her knowledge on Puberty Changes & Precaution projecting some images on screen (with Projector) all pertaining to the subject matter. She explained to all present Girls students from class VII to X and some women from the nearby villages and interacted with the students as she reported after completion the camp.
In the second session of the program Dr. (Ms.) Sthapana Sharma Asst. Prof - Dept. of Community Medicine Guwahati Medical College shared her knowledge on the subject: Menstruation Hygiene & Nutrition-Issues frequently faced by women and girls adolescent. She also spoke after conclusion of the camp that she did many programmes for women hygiene in various occasions, but this programme has got a different millage as the students had gathered courage to ask questions on various health issues specially on Menstruation and this was possible as the programme was conducted only in the presence of female participants. She explained that any problems pertaining to Menstrual Hygiene were always suppressed due to shy feeling and hesitation. Once women and young ladies feel free to speak, they will share their relevant problem on the issues related to menstrual problem.
In the meeting all the female teachers from both the School (Tamulikuchi High school and Tamulikuchi M.E School ) were present so that it helped the student to speak frankly in front of all about their problems if any. Aasha Kormies Â from nearby villages were also present. Among the notable Ladies from both the villages namely, Ms. Dalimi Rohang, Ms. Bhabani Baishya Laskar, Ms. Geeta Rongpee Ms. Rashmi Teron Ms. Nirmali Pathak Laskar were present in the meeting and they were very much happy of acquiring knowledge about many health issues related to Menstruation Hygiene. They appreciated the management of Surya Gold Cement for their initiative for organizing such a programme which is exclusively for women and Adolescent Girls students.
Aims of this programme:
- I.To promote Feminine Hygiene amongst girls students of Tamulikuchi High School, Tamulikuch M.E School, Sarutari L.P School and Marogula L.P School of the age group of 11+ years.
- II.To elicit the beliefs, conception and source of information regarding Feminine Hygiene (menstruation) amongst the School girls to reduce absenteeism and Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) diseases.
- III.To increase knowledge about Women Hygiene (menstruation) right from childhood may escalate safe practices and may help in mitigating the suffering during the menstruation period.
- IV.To find out the status of Women (menstrual) hygiene among adolescent girls and the manner in which a girl learns about menstruation and its associated changes may have an impact on her response to the event of menarche.
Targeted Beneficiaries: The total beneficiary through this programme were 150 girl student and 50 women (Mother and Female teachers.) = Total 200 beneficiaries.
Activities Carried Out:
- 1.Free Sanitary Pads were distributed amongst the Girls Students with a piece of small bath soap.
- 2.Awareness Speech was held by Physicians for School Girl Students.
- 3.Distribution of IEC (Information, Education and Communication) materials on Feminine Hygiene.
- 4.Arrangement of light packet lunch for all present students and Ladies, as the awareness programme ran for 3 hrs.