Menstruation is still considered a taboo subject in the Indian society. Even today, the cultural and social influences on the people create a major hurdle in ensuring that the adolescent girls are given proper knowledge on menstrual hygiene. The mothers are reluctant to talk about this topic to their daughters, and many of them lack scientific knowledge on puberty and menstruation. And even if they have knowledge, the women in India rarely approach a doctor to seek help for the menstrual problems they are facing.
The silence around this natural phenomenon in the communities combined with limited to no access to information regarding this subject both at home and in schools has resulted in the girls and women living in these areas having no knowledge about menstruation and the changes that happen in their bodies with its onset every month, how to deal with it and good menstrual hygiene practices.
Menstruation is associated with the onset of puberty in girls and many a times, it brings with it rules, restrictions, isolation, and changed expectations from the girls by the society. This changed attitude towards girls such as restrictions on their self-expression, schooling, mobility and freedom has far reaching consequences on the mindset of women.
The physical changes that occur during puberty and the lack of safe, hygienic menstrual practices has created a complex, heavy silence around this natural physiological phenomenon. Therefore, a positive attitude towards menstruation and menstrual practices needs to be inculcated in the girl child at the onset of menarche.
The unhygienic menstrual practices followed by girls/women would often lead to increased vulnerability to RTI’s, PID’s and other complications. Therefore, good menstrual hygiene is crucial for health, education and dignity of girls and women. It is important to make menstrual hygiene a part of health education for the girl child.
The Art of Living has created Project Pavitra- an initiative for enhancing adolescent girl’s menstrual health and hygiene. The project aims to generate awareness amongst adolescent girls about menstrual health and hygiene via sensitisation programs in rural areas and urban slums.
The vision of the project is to empower girls with knowledge and awareness on menstrual hygiene to manage their menstruation in a hygienic way in privacy, safety and with dignity at home, at school and in the community.
A woman’s menstrual health is crucial to her well-being, and also to the well-being of her family and community. But too often — especially in the developing world — mindsets, customs and institutional biases prevent women from getting the menstrual health care they need to thrive. Menstrual hygiene continues to be amongst the most challenging development issues today.
A positive attitude towards menstruation and menstrual practices needs to be inculcated in the girl child at the onset of menarche. To ensure this, it is important to make menstrual hygiene a part of health education for the girl child.
A total of 500,000 girls from rural communities, schools, and colleges, are envisioned to be sensitised on Menstrual Hygiene every year. The project aims to create a sustainable change in the menstrual hygiene practices. In the long run, it is hoped that better health status and quality of life would be achieved amongst girls through the sensitisation programs.
Since the launch in March 2018, our volunteer trainers have delivered complimentary workshops on menstrual health and hygiene to over 52,450 adolescent girls. Through regular online and offline Training of Trainers sessions, 3490 females have been trained to become menstrual health and hygiene champions.
Health and Hygiene Program for Adolescent Girl
This sensitisation program provides know-how on how to handle menstruation, improve girls’ knowledge of personal hygiene and boost their confidence by answering their unanswered questions through interactive and engaging training methods. It also provides information to dispel myths and taboos surrounding this issue. Girls are also taught yoga asanas and breathing exercises (pranayama) that relieve menstrual discomfort.
A growing team of 3000 plus dynamic women volunteer trainers of the Art of Living are spreading the knowledge of holistic and sustainable menstrual practices. The training includes the wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda for the beneficiaries, enabling them to better experience their periods.
Our mission to empower women is an all inclusive effort, where our trainers’ role is very essential. They experience a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which they pass on to the beneficiaries. Hence, this chain of women empowering women is getting stronger by each day. Master Trainers are being created in each state who in turn are creating local menstrual health champions.
A training module spanning 90-minutes-a-day for three consecutive days has been developed through research and consultation, and advice with our in-house experts of Yoga and Ayurveda. This comprehensive program addresses menstrual health issues across all age groups.
Objectives of the sensitisation program:
- To make females are aware about the normal phenomenon of menstruation
- and menstrual health and hygiene management, while eliminating social taboos.
- Help them abide to healthy eating and physical fitness lifestyles
- Inculcate a sense of confidence, pride and honour in being a female
Health and Hygiene Program for Adolescent Girls is a 3 day program of 90 minutes per day to sensitise girls between the ages of 11 and 19 years on the issue of menstrual hygiene. The workshops focus on teaching management of mental and physical aspects of stress experienced by girls due to menstruation by teaching them:
- Pranayama to reduce premenstrual tension (increased irritability, bloating and cramps.
- Yoga asanas to keep PMS, excessive or scanty blood flow under check.
- Diet for having healthy periods and regaining lost nutrients (using locally available food items (to avoid anaemia and weakness).
- Games and skits to help girls dispel myths and superstitions surrounding this natural phenomenon in a playful manner.
- Maintaining adequate menstrual hygiene using local resources.
Support us, collaborate with us, and spread the word! Be a part of Project Pavitra and help create healthier and happier lives for women and girls from marginalised communities.
Call/WhatsApp: +91 84319 68917
The Art of Living Social Projects Department,
International Association for Human Values (IAHV),
The Art of Living International Center,
21st KM, Kanakapura Road, Bangalore, India