AFPR under Project Rajaswala published a report on the status of menstrual hygiene and menstrual waste disposal, where we analyzed the current framework regulating menstrual health management and disposal of menstrual waste, in the nation, suggesting areas of improvement. AFPR focussed on what the Foundation itself can do in this regard.
We realized the need of this project in the wake of a dramatic increase in menstrual and pregnancy related diseases caused to women practicing unhealthy lifestyles and thus putting not only themselves but also their future new-borns at a greater risk. With this objective, our team worked in various districts, cities and rural households in collaboration with Schools and Village Panchayats,especially in rural and sub-urban areas, to promote menstrual hygiene by teaching healthy menstrual practices, the use of sanitary pads, and their benefits by providing sensitization regarding government facilities along with checking the implementation of government schemes and efforts at ground zero.
This initiative was taken by us under the aegis of Project Rajaswala, which was our vision for this year, and the aim was to donate a sanitary kit and send a girl to school. We found that due to menstruation and no resources to procure sanitary kits, young girls have to drop out from schools, that not only hinders their education but also affects their mental health. Therefore, the organisation started this drive of distribution of sanitary kits along with a healthy collaboration with Think India and their volunteers.
Project Rajaswala was launched on 26th July, 2020 with a pledge to strive to make the society a healthy place, especially for women. “Project Rajaswala” is a drive to share knowledge and spread awareness about the issues surrounding menstruation. It seeks to reach out to young girls via multiple platforms, providing them with a forum to learn about menstrual hygiene management and share their own experiences about menstrual taboos, choices, and practices. We aimed at addressing misconceptions and issues of scarcity surrounding menstruation and envision to create an interactive platform to engage with real stories, conduct webinars to share healthy and safe menstrual hygiene practices.
We have continuously been sharing stories of people and their experience with menstrual cycles on various platforms in order to normalize conversation on menstrual cycles and shatter the taboo surrounding it.
The prime focus of this drive was upon sharing knowledge and creating awareness about menstrual cycles by distributing 20,000 menstrual hygiene kits primarily in academic/educational institutions. This event was organized in collaboration with Pee Safe, Mission Shakti, and various other academic and non-academic organizations. For making the drive successful thousands of volunteers and interns worked together with us to spread awareness regarding the issue by collecting contribution through crowd-funding.
The cost of each kit was Rs. 50 and it consisted of basic menstrual hygiene and sanitation products i.e., Sanitary Pads, Health Supplements, Intimate Wash, Sanitizers, and Biodegradable Waste Bag. Through this drive we achieved our aim of spreading awareness among people and by motivating the masses to come forward and help the girls in need. Under this initiative we achieved our target for collection of kits and also received funding from across the country. Numerous people came forward and volunteered with us under this drive.
Under this project we got tremendous response from the public as they came ahead and joined our project and donate sanitary kits to save the girl child from health issues. The rural community welcomed this initiative with open arms and were keen to learn about the health practices that could avoid them the trouble during menstruation.
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