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Women Hygiene Awareness

Women Hygiene Awareness

Problem Statement:

In India, 400 million women are on their menstrual cycle, out of which only 18% (72 million) have access to hygienic menstrual products. This means that approximately 82% (328 million) of women are either unaware of or lack access to basic women's hygiene requirements. In some rural areas, women cannot afford sanitary pads or even clean cloth for managing their periods. Instead, they resort to using old scraps of cloth, soil, dust, or ashes, which can lead to infections and health problems. The lack of menstrual hygiene awareness and the stigma associated with menstruation further worsen the situation for these women. MTD NGO aims to educate and provide support to women in rural areas through their project called LAJJA.

Sanitary waste impact on the environment:

The use of single-use plastic sanitary napkins contributes to a significant carbon footprint of 8.9 kg of CO2 emissions per year for each napkin. In India, where only 18% of women have access to sanitary pads, approximately 1 billion plastic-based sanitary napkins are used every month. This results in 113,000 tonnes of plastic waste being generated in India's landfills annually.

Proposed Plan of Action:

MTD NGO proposes a plan of action to address the menstrual hygiene challenges faced by women in India. The plan revolves around three key strategies:

  1. Awareness: MTD NGO's experienced team identifies areas lacking menstrual hygiene awareness and conducts awareness sessions in rural villages. These sessions, lasting around 1.5 hours, cover important topics such as knowledge about menstruation, the hazards of poor menstrual hygiene, myths and facts, knowledge of different menstrual products, the environmental impact of disposable products, and expert Q&A discussions.

  2. Adaptation: MTD NGO aims to eliminate the stigma associated with menstruation and promote its acceptance in local communities. After providing guidance, the NGO distributes free menstrual hygiene kits, including reusable sanitary napkins, to women in these areas for a period of 12 months. This initiative has resulted in an 86% adoption rate of reusable sanitary napkins.

  3. Access: MTD NGO strives to expand the project nationwide and ensure ongoing support for the beneficiaries. They maintain regular follow-ups with the women who participated in the program and have set up a dedicated women's helpline accessible from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Additionally, the NGO plans to establish production centers in localities with the help of Self-Help Groups.

Project Implementation Timeline:

The project implementation is divided into several phases:

  1. Phase 1 - Procurement of Hygiene Kits & Outreach: The identification and verification team selects the target area and beneficiaries. Procurement of reusable sanitary pads and the menstrual hygiene book takes place.

  2. Phase 2 - Conducting awareness sessions: A professional team, including doctors, conducts awareness sessions for approximately 100-200 women per session, tailored to local requirements.

  3. Phase 3 - Data entry of all beneficiaries: Data from pre- and post-session forms is entered online for analysis.

  4. Phase 4 - Data analysis: The verification and analysis team collects beneficiary details for future analysis.

  5. Phase 5 - Follow-up calls: Telephonic follow-ups are conducted after 3 months to assess the impact of the program.

  6. Phase 6 - Drafting report: A comprehensive report is prepared based on the project's outcomes and findings.

Project Progress:

Since the project's initiation on October 26, 2021, the MTD NGO has successfully reached over 10,000 women, creating a positive impact in their lives. The organization continues to expand its reach to rural communities and raise awareness about menstrual hygiene and personal well-being.