To spread awareness among the members of women Self Help Groups (SHGs) about Menstrual Health & Hygiene, Jammu Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) on Thursday organised a daylong workshop on the theme "Menstrual Hygiene Management -Mardun ki Zubani".
The day-long programme was organized across all the blocks of the Mission to sensitise the SHG women about vital social and health issues, especially those related to personal health and hygiene. During the workshop, the SHGs were told about the science behind menstruation and the myths surrounding it.
The SHGs were also taught about basic hygiene that should be maintained during periods. It helped in sensitising them on various complications arising out of lack of menstrual hygiene. Mission Director JKRLM, Indu Kanwal Chib, in her keynote address said that Menstruation is a natural part of the reproductive cycle.
However, in most parts of the country, it remains a taboo and is rarely talked about, which leads to gender issues and all anti social activities. She therefore said that the purpose of this workshop was to create awareness on menstruation and its hygiene.
She explained that the cleanliness initiative started by the Government of India is a significant move and the Menstrual Hygiene Management as a component is equally important as the taboo associated with Menstrual cycle is still existing in our society.
“Conducting the Menstrual Hygiene Management workshop will significantly focus on taking Men folk on board to make them understand the help and support they must provide to the women going through this natural phase every month,” the MD added.
She further said “Our aim is to empower young women and girls about the heightened vulnerabilities of menstrual hygiene and its management.” The focus of the program was to create awareness among women on personal hygiene particularly on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and the participants were asked to act as ambassadors for sensitising other women to maintain MHM safe and hygienic sanitation, the MD added.
She hoped that the training would be a beginning and the first step towards building up confidence and boldness among the women groups. In this connection, she called upon the master trainers to understand well and spread awareness.
Archana Gosh, National Programme Manager,National Rural Livelihood Mission( NRLM) - the resource person of the event , spoke on the important issue of menstrual hygiene, its sustainability when it comes to over all period management.
She said that the purpose was to create awareness, to mitigate the challenges associated with periods and encourage the master trainers to spread awareness so that every woman and girl has access to safe and sustainable menstrual hygiene products along with holistic and accurate information to manage menstruation.
Guest speaker Dr. Meenali Rajput, Medical officer, Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) emphasized on cleanliness and hygiene. She mentioned that in today’s time the management of menstruation requires three key things: awareness, access (mainly in rural setup) and disposal of used sanitary napkins in an environment friendly manner, Girls and women need to maintain good menstrual hygiene to uphold their health and dignity.
The session focused on various menstrual health related topics like periods and its causes, period myths and taboos, Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs) and other infections, good hygiene practices that one must follow and cultural taboos associated with menstruation. A short film related to menstrual hygiene was also screened on the occasion.
More than 30 Training of Trainers (ToTs) & Food Nutrition Health & Wash (FNHW) community Resource persons (CRPs) from Jammu Division attended the workshop programme, while the event witnessed virtual participation of over 5 thousand SHGs from various blocks of Jammu and Kashmir. The session ended with a Q/A round.