Mega awareness drive for girls on menstruation, sexual harassment
Under the union human resource development (HRD) ministry’s initiative Balika Manch, the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan in Delhi has clubbed all 272 wards into groups of two and formed 136 clusters where the awareness workshops on menstruation and sexual harassment for girls will be organised.Updated: Aug 11, 2019 00:39 IST
Girl students of classes 6 to 8 across Delhi government schools will get a chance to seek answers to adolescence-related queries from experts and get information on “good touch bad touch” during a mass awareness campaign to be organised at 136 locations in the city under the Centre’s Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan this month.
Under the union human resource development (HRD) ministry’s initiative Balika Manch, the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan in Delhi has clubbed all 272 wards into groups of two and formed 136 clusters where the awareness workshops on menstruation and sexual harassment for girls will be organised.
Kavita Rana, officer special duty (OSD), SSA in Delhi, said, “We are going to speak to girls about taboos and myths around menstruation. We will make them aware about good touch and bad touch through activities and lectures. We expect to start from next week and cover all 136 clusters this month.”
The SSA has roped in a Delhi-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Sachhi Saheli , which is already conducting such workshops in city schools. Dr Surbhi Singh, a gynaecologist and founder of Sachhi Saheli, said the workshops will focus on making girls aware about every aspect of menstruation.
“We are targeting girls who have just attained puberty or are about to reach that age. It is very important these girls should know about periods before they get it for the first time so that they do not get traumatised. They should know what changes are going to happen in their bodies and feel confident about it,” she said.
A survey of around 10,000 girls enrolled in government schools revealed that 66% of them either skip classes or take a half day’s leave during periods, HT had reported in March. The survey said 68% did not know about menstruation until they got their periods.
Arti Qanungo, who teaches at a government school in Shakarpur, said these girls generally come from families that are not very comfortable discussing topics such as menstruation and harassment against women. “Many government schools have started holding such awareness programmes on their own. A mass campaign of this sort will definitely scale up efforts,” she said.
Awadesh Kar Jha, Head of Sarvodaya co-ed Vidyalaya, Rohini, said, “It’s better to organise such workshops on good touch bad touch and gender-based harassment for both girls and boys together to make them more sensitive. They will feel more comfortable discussing these issues among themselves.”
Rana said the campaign will cover male students from next year.
Singh said the two-hour workshops in each cluster will address at least 200 girls at a time. “We have prepared a small questionnaire to be filled by students after the workshop. We will chalk out plans for the next initiative based on what students learn now,” she said.
First Published: Aug 10, 2019 23:49 IST