Menstruation is still a taboo subject in India. The shame around menstruation forces thousands of girls to drop out of school once they reach puberty, impeding the growth of female literacy in India. It’s a terrible fallout of what is a wholly natural and normal process for girls across the world.
Concern India Foundation (www.concernindiafoundation.org) has embarked on a programme called ‘Suraksha’ – Adolescent Reproductive Health Education for children in schools from vulnerable backgrounds.
– The objective is to reach out to girls and boys aged between 7 and 16 years so that they are able to understand and manage adolescent changes healthily and are also protected from abuse.
– This comprehensive reproductive health and child protection programme includes sessions for younger children, adolescent girls and boys separately. Boys are included as they must be aware and play an important role in creating a conducive environment.
– The programme imparts adolescents and youth with correct and scientific knowledge and perspective on reproductive health through trainings and follow-ups so that they are better equipped to manage the changes.
– It encourages mentoring through peer groups to sustain the programme.
– The project also includes modules to sensitise parents and teachers on the needs of the children and adolescents and how to respond to them.
The various elements of the programme converge to ensure that the children better understand adolescence, change their attitudes and behaviour towards menstruation, and take home good practices to share with their families. All this creates a positive environment and a support system that will help girls overcome the daunting challenges they face, thereby encouraging them to continue with their education.
To know more or contribute to Suraksha, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 022 22855487.