May 31, 2022, New Delhi: Plan India today celebrated the culmination of its 28-day campaign #WHYSHY To Talk Periods which sensitised around 28,000 adolescent girls and boys on menstrual health education and hygiene management in over 300 schools across Jharkhand and Delhi. The campaign focused on building the knowledge and confidence of girls in their ability to manage menstrual health and hygiene with safety and dignity.
The culmination event was attended by Dr. Sushma Dureja, Senior Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. Of India, Ms. Ranjana Prasad – Member of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Dr. Rupali Goyal – District Program Officer (RCH) -Delhi (East), Directorate of Family Welfare, GNCT of Delhi.
Highlighting the need to increase menstrual health awareness among communities, especially adolescent girls and young women, the campaign challenged social myths and taboos surrounding puberty to end menstrual-related stigma and discrimination. It highlighted 28 stories of the first menstruation of girls from its communities as messages to spread awareness on menstrual hygiene management and breaking the silence.
Apart from educating girls about hygiene management, the campaign also spoke of how they should dispose of menstrual waste. The majority of girls lack education about the importance of cleaning, drying, and storing absorbents hygienically, as a result, they suffer from reproductive tract infections.
“We need to challenge the misconceptions around menstruation. During these 28 days, we reached out to girls in our schools and communities about the importance of maintaining hygiene during periods. Additionally, we encouraged them not to be ashamed of talking about their periods. This is a natural phenomenon that needs to be discussed openly within our families and society,” said Anchal, Plan India’s Peer Educator from Delhi.
“Plan India believes that menstrual equity can be achieved by promoting gender equality, addressing the taboos and misconceptions on menstrual hygiene and creating access to menstrual health products for all women and girls. Our adolescent girls’ health and ending period poverty initiative is led by girls themselves and seeks to promote dignity, safety, and confidence for all girls and young women enabling them to lead healthier and happy lives” said Mohammed Asif, Executive Director, Plan India.
#WHYSHY To Talk Periods was launched on May 4, 2022, under Plan India’s ‘Menstrual Health Education Project in India’. The project is being implemented in partnership with Kimberly-Clark Corporation, USA, in 3 resettlement colonies/urban slums in the national capital of Delhi and the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand. It aims to increase the knowledge and confidence of adolescent girls and young women in their ability to manage menstrual health and hygiene.