AIM: The aim of the project is to prevent the huge drop out of girls after reaching puberty due to prevalent misconceptions on menstrual hygiene.
- To generate awareness among adolescent girls on menstrual hygiene, psychological and physiological changes during puberty and how to manage menstruation.
- To facilitate adolescent girls on implementing hygienic practices and breaking the socio-cultural taboos around menstruation.
- To mobilize adolescent girls, mothers and school teachers to sustain project learning’s further and best practices.
There is a lot of misinformation prevalent in our society with respect to menstruation. MHM is an essential health topic which is rarely spoken about or discussed, both, at schools or homes. 70% of girls miss school each month during menstruation this thus missing out on important lessons taught.
As many as 25% girls drop out of school after attaining puberty due to the stigma and misconceptions associated with menstruation. Some of the girls are banished from their homes and forced to live in a secluded menstrual hut during their monthly menstrual period, causing loss of confidence and dignity in them and sometimes leading to fatal consequences.
CACR is implementing BCC Program on MHM in MCGM schools in Mumbai. The MHM program reaches out to adolescent girls from Class VI to VIII in these schools.
The intervention on BCC module on Project on Menstrual Hygiene Management in some municipal schools has helped in getting lots of insights, some of them are as follows:-
- Adolescent girls in municipal schools were extremely hesitant to speak and had no knowledge on menstruation, importance of menstrual hygiene, use of good quality sanitary absorbents and safe disposal, etc.
- There were a lot of myths and taboos regarding this issue, so it was equally important to engage mothers and teachers as well.
Maharashtra is one of the first states to come up with Menstrual Hygiene guidelines with technical support from UNICEF.
UNICEF MHM Module:
CACR has implemented UNICEF MHM module in MCGM schools in order to prevent the absentee of girls in the schools in menstruation period and to stop possible drop outs and misconceptions on menstrual hygiene.
A pilot session was held on 11th Feb 2017 at Colaba municipal school attended by 200 female students, teachers and mothers.
CACR has implemented MHM program in 18 schools with the help of 30 volunteers in last one year. We have been able to reach out to 705 girl beneficiaries.
There has been a drastic shift in the mindsets of girls as well as their mothers. They have been successful in breaking the misconceptions and stigmas which were so deep rooted in their minds about menstruation. Girls have been observed to be more confident in talking about the problems they face during these menstrual cycle days. Absenteeism has reduced.
The program has definitely had a profound effect on the girls of the BMC schools.
They seem to be more positive that having a regular menstrual cycle is a sign of good health and not a shame!!