Alone we can do so little but together we can do WONDERS~
This quote is something that I personally believe in because I experienced it first hand during my journey of this initiative. I saw how it was everyone’s contributions, support and encouragement which made such a difference; the wishes and the help which enabled me to carry out this initiative. I feel fortunate to have witnessed this and now truly able to understand how , when everyone comes together and believes in something, we can truly make a positive change in the society. It kind of reminds me of the phrase ‘Every drop makes an ocean’ except I like to think of the ‘drop’ as the little help that each of us can extend; and the ‘ocean’ as the sea of change that can be brought about.
As you all know, I had started a fundraiser around 3 weeks ago to fund for sanitary napkins for Orphanage girls. I had started this fundraiser with the initial goals of Rs.15,000/- to provide 40 girls of Thayimane organization with sanitary napkins for 4-6 months. But, with the generous help of all the contributors and everyone’s wishes, I have been successful in collecting Rs. 49,050/- and now I am able to fund for a years stock of sanitary napkins for the girls as well as shift my focus to another organisation and help more girls and spread the awareness.
For this I am extremely grateful and I sincerely thank everyone for all the support, but mostly I would like to thank you all for believing in my cause and finding it worthy of your contributions. It really means a lot to me. Thank you.
HEALTH AND HYGIENE WORKSHOP
Finally, the last four weeks of planning and coordinating had boiled down to today. Everything was well arranged and 47 girls between the age group of 9-20 years in front of me, eagerly waiting for us to start. The doctor had arrived, the projector was in place and of course our volunteers ever ready to report to duty. That was how the workshop officially started. It began with me giving the girls a brief introduction about myself, the doctor, the sponsoring NGO and a basic introduction regarding the topic and how we were going to proceed with the workshop.
This was followed by the 1 hour talk wherein gynecologist Dr. Sunita began with explaining about their basic personal hygiene – how to maintain their hair, face, feet .etc. in a manner making it easily understandable by the girls. Here, we witnessed an extremely interactive session with the girls who were evidently enthusiastic to share their thoughts and opinions on the same. What I understood from the girl’s responses was that, while all of them were quite familiar with the idea of personal hygiene, many of them didn’t know the importance of following this hygiene or the complications that could potentially follow.
Later, the Doctor talked about – menstruation, how the menstrual cycle starts-works, why-how to use sanitary napkins and its disposal, cleanliness and diet during this time .etc. Once again the girls showed a keen interest by putting forward their perspectives regarding the same while actively asking questions. A few questions arose regarding the superstitions linked to the menstrual cycle and how true they were. From this one gets the message that these girls already have some existing norms on what to do and what not to do which may not always be correct. For eg. one of the girls said that people told her not to eat curd or drink milk during this time while someone else said that she shouldn’t eat fruits and eggs etc. I really do hope that through this session we were able to remove that mental block and give the girls a clearer picture of things.
In fact the session was so engaging that no one kept track of time and before we knew it, Dr. Sunita’s talk was over which was followed by me taking the stage to thank everyone and then the distribution of the sanitary napkins and Health and Hygiene Kits. The Health and Hygiene kit which was sponsored by Tejomay Charitable Trust, contained many items of personal hygiene – toothbrush, toothpaste, earbuds lotion .etc. All the girls looked so happy to receive these kits, it was such a lovely sight and one that I will always cherish. I got 500 packets of sanitary napkins and we distributed 2/2 packets to all the girls yesterday and handed over the rest of the packets to the co-ordinator. The next six months stock of 500 packets will be delivered to Thayimane in the month of June-2018 and I will keep you all posted on the same.
After the distribution, we were all treated with extremely kind words by Abinandan Sir, (Sports and yoga coordinator in Thayimane) congratulating all of us. Thank you sir, I appreciate your support. Before we knew it, it was time for us to leave and while it was kind of saddening we were filled with a satisfaction of a job done. The satisfaction of helping someone out and providing them with knowledge and resources which would help them in the coming days.
I am very thankful to Dr. Sunita Shekokar who took time out of her busy schedule to conduct the workshop. Thanks for supporting and encouraging me, it means a lot. I am sure all the girls learnt a lot through this interactive workshop.
I would also like to thank Tejomay Charitable Trust for supporting and sponsoring the health and hygiene workshop and providing hygiene kits to all the girls.
A special thanks to Pratibha aunty from Thayimane organization for her support and guidance throughout this process. Thank you aunty for always answering my queries, even when I called you at the most random hours and thanks for supporting me. Also, thanks to Jyoti ma’am – coordinator of ThayiMane- for giving me this opportunity.
I am also very thankful to the support I have gotten from my school. My principal and teachers not only appreciated my initiative, but also allowed me to share the information among the higher grades. I am very grateful for the same.
A special thanks to my parents I wouldn’t have been able to carry out this initiative without the constant help and guidance from them. It was quite a journey with my 10th pre-boards going on. Thanks to my younger brother too for being extremely accommodative and being an integral part of this entire process. I am sure it will have a subtle positive impact on him too.
Another special thanks goes to volunteers (my dear friends) – Tarini Jamb, Ila Manish, Dhruti and Chinmayee Nayak who participated in the event and helped me execute the event successfully. Tarini even helped me and my brother in making hygiene kits.
Once again thank you all for helping me start this journey and I am sure with constant support from you , our little steps will take us a long way.
Each of us can make a difference; Together we can make a change