How did the idea of a health and hygiene workshop come about?
ThayiMane is a children's home that provides underprivileged children with a loving
environment to grow and mature. Sanjana had been to ThayiMane quite a few times earlier so she
was already familiar with the place and the organisation. In November, she celebrated her
birthday at ThayiMane - an 'amazing' experience. While she was there some of her
interactions with the kids got her thinking about health and hygiene. She had similar
observations in other social organizations as well.
The main thing that came to her mind was the sanitation requirements of the girl. Being a
girl, she felt this was something she could relate to. When she spoke to Mrs Pratibha Nathji,
Headmistress of ThayiMane school, she realized that while there are several people and
corporations who come forward to donate books, stationery, clothes, and other needs., there
are few donors for sanitary napkins and other health/hygiene related material. So the supply
was irregular. Moreover, the first priority of the organisation was to meet the basic
requirements such as food and education but health and hygiene is one area where
additional help was required. So, she decided to take this matter up.
What are the challenges we faced?
Event Coordination: Initially, Sanjana had thought that this would be very simple. But, there were hurdles along the way. Co-ordinating all the logistics for the workshop, arranging doctor required multiple follow-ups.
Sanity Napkins Supply: At the last minute (just 2 days before the event), Sanjana got a call from Mythri (from where I got the sanitary napkins) that they would be able to deliver only about half the required number of sanitary napkins before the workshop because they had other orders as well. She had to run around to find a place where she could get the remaining supply.
Tests and Pre-boards: Being in 10th grade, she also had her pre-boards and periodic tests. So coordinating and balancing her academics, sports and initiative posed a challenge.
Finding a Doctor: Sanjana had approached several doctors to conduct the Health and Hygiene Workshop for the girls. However, many of them backed out due to some personal commitments .etc. A week before the workshop, she was still in a tight spot. Fortunately, Dr Sunita agreed to conduct the workshop.
Mindset of the People: In our society, for decades and centuries, girls and women have been taught that the menstrual cycle is something dirty and polluting: something to be ashamed of. Social stigmas, cultural perceptions and myths have etched their way into our society over the years.