Schools in Noida are taking an initiative to raise awareness among adolescent girls on managing menstruation and distributing sanitary napkins by organising workshops.
Sunriseville School, a private school, organised an interactive programme Managing Menstruation - My Pride in association with an NGO on Tuesday.
"Under the Swachh Bharat and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, we organised an interactive programme which gave an insight into the importance of health and hygiene during the special days of the month. It cleared a lot of myth about the menstrual period. The organisers also gave a multimedia presentation on how to use and dispose off sanitary napkins. The girls feel empowered after the workshop," said Rajni Jain, principal Sunriseville School.
The girls were also given sanitary napkins at the school.
"A Unicef study had revealed that 10% of girls in India believed that mensuration is a disease and around 25% knew nothing about mensuration prior to getting it. Though menstruation is a normal biological process, it is treated as shameful and dirty in various cultures and girls are not allowed to perform religious activity during menstruation," said Malini Sharma, a Delhi University professor and representative of Pragati the women's development cell.
The state government has also planned to distribute sanitary napkins to young girls in government-run schools and provide menstrual hygiene training so that they do not miss classes during the periods.
"In government schools, there is a lack of water and clean and safe toilets so girl students feel ashamed and embarrassed during periods. As a majority of girl students have no access to affordable hygienic sanitary materials, they manage periods in unhygienic ways," said Raksha Shukla, representative of the All India Women Conference.
"Menstrual changes can be handled by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake, and reducing stress. At the school management's request we will hold workshops for girl students," said Dr AK Aggarwal, president, Indian Medical Association.