Two girls from Jaipur have started a campaign to spread awareness among women regarding health issues and the use of sanitary napkins during menstruation. Spearheading this campaign are Inab Khurram, who is pursuing her post-graduation in Chemistry, and Dr. Hetal Sachanandani, who is studying dental medicine.
Hetal and Inab have been visiting slums to distribute sanitary napkins and other sanitation-related material for free. Inab says that by doing this, they want to create awareness among women regarding the health disadvantages of using unclean clothes instead of sanitary napkins. They are also informing these women about the basic concepts of health and how to dispose of these napkins.
The situation in India, when it comes to the health and hygiene of women, is quite bad. According to the 2015-2016 report released by the National Family Health Survey, only 48 percent of women use sanitary napkins during periods in rural India. In fact, the situation is not that great for women in urban areas as well where only 78 percent use hygienic means of managing menstruation. The data implies that most females still use unhygienic means such as clothes and so on to manage menstruation.
Hetal says that she came across a study which stated that nearly 80 percent of the women do not use sanitary napkins during periods. Most of them are not even aware of the concept of sanitary napkins. Even the women who are aware of sanitary pads cannot afford them. She further says that she got to know of such an awareness campaign in Chandigarh and decided to do something similar in Jaipur.
Though Hetal has not received any support from the government or a non-profit organisation till now, she has been receiving help from twitter. There are many who are making donations to this cause through Paytm. Trishal Pincha, a friend of Hetal and Inab, has helped them tremendously with the campaign. A few friends of Hetal are also trying to take this cause forward in Delhi.
Union Health Ministry had started a scheme in 2012 to promote the use of sanitary napkins in rural areas and allocated nearly Rs 150 crore for it. As per the scheme, sanitary napkins were being given at Rs 1 to women belonging to below poverty line (BPL) families and at Rs 5 to women belonging to above poverty line (APL) families.
Though matters are bad when it comes to health and hygiene of women in this country, people like Hetal and her team inspire everyone by their noble work to take the country forward.
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