Menstrual health is crucial to the overall well-being of every woman. It is also amongst the most challenging development issues today, particularly in the developing world, with lack of awareness, old mindsets, customs and institutional biases preventing women from getting the menstrual health care they need. Statistics suggest that women in the unorganized sector are more susceptible to menstrual infections due to poor sanitation facilities and lack of awareness. To bridge this need gap, SUNDESH Chairperson Mrs. Indira Burman had spearheaded a special initiative on Menstrual Hygiene Management, especially for women from rural India and underprivileged sections of the society.
The Kalyani- Feminine Hygiene Management project of SUNDESH is aimed to set up a manufacturing unit for the production of biodegradable sanitary pads. The initiative was funded by Mrs. Indira Burman, and targeted the villagers of districts Hapur and Gautam Budh Nagar of block Dhaulana and Dadri, respectively.
To benefit from this project, the villagers must be members of a Self-Help Group. So, the work plan of SUNDESH included setting up a micro-enterprise of SHG members who would work on building a manufacturing unit for biodegradable sanitary pads. The funding for the project is on a no-interest loan-basis.
SUNDESH, with the support of VYOMINI, also organised an awareness workshop in schools and also with women Self Help Groups (SHGs) to discuss issues related to menstrual cycle, besides addressing the various taboos and stigma related to menstruation.
Special Health Camps were organised at SUNDESH's Health Post in SIRUC where the rural women and adolescents consulted a gynaecologist to seek help for menstrual issues.
While the COVID lockdown prevented us from holding any physical awareness camps in the villages in the initial part of 2020-21, our volunteers continue to reach out to women and adolescent girls in the target villages and support them with sanitary pads. Till date, 4,764 girls and women have benefited from our 54 awareness camps. Besides, 4,820 women have been provided sanitary pads arranged by SUNDESH through VYOMINI.