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Ujaas menstrual health initiative partners with schools to break taboos and spark conversation

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Pune, India: Aditya Birla Education Trust’s social initiative, Ujaas, is making significant strides in creating awareness about menstrual health and hygiene in India. Today, Ujaas organized a wall painting activity in the presence of Advaitesha Birla, Founder Ujaas and school students, including girls and boys from Narsinh Vidyalaya, Tathwade, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune.
The painting was done on the school wall which has over 1000 students across all standards. The activity aims to emphasize the importance of menstrual health and hygiene through the medium of art. Ujaas has further pledged to undertake the wall painting initiative in 20 more schools across Maharashtra reaching out to approximately 15000 students. In India, menstruation is still considered a taboo subject, and Ujaas is leveraging the power of art to initiate conversations and break down these social barriers by encouraging students to express themselves through art, Ujaas aims to facilitate more open and comfortable discussions around menstrual health and hygiene in India.
In India, despite considerable progress made toward women’s health, development and education, menstruation is still considered taboo. Even today, 71% of girls don’t know about menstruation till they get their first period and over 50% of girls do not know about proper menstrual hygiene resulting in over 2.3 crore girls between the ages of 11 and 14 dropping out of school each year in India.
Born out of this insight Ujaas covers three crucial aspects of awareness, distribution, and sustainability. To date, Ujaas has raised awareness for over 115347 adolescent girls and boys, conducted over 3541 awareness workshops across Maharashtra, and reached out to 512 schools in 14 districts of Maharashtra. Ujaas has a goal to reach over 2 lakh beneficiaries by the end of the next year.
Speaking at the event Advaitesha Birla, Founder Ujaas said “I have interacted with many girls who have shared the mental stress they have gone through due to lack of knowledge and awareness about menstrual health and hygiene. The confusion caused by not knowing when they would get their periods or how to manage them, coupled with social myths and taboos, has only added to their challenges. Ujaas works towards addressing these issues by providing the right knowledge and creating awareness about menstrual health and hygiene. Through initiatives like the wall painting activity, I hope that more people become aware of the importance of menstrual health and hygiene. My sincere wish is that through our efforts at Ujaas, we help every girl feel comfortable with herself and seek the right knowledge to manage her period independently .”
Ujaas aims to make a positive and sustainable impact on menstrual health in India by reducing period poverty and promoting effective menstrual health and hygiene management practices for adolescent girls and women. Led by Advaitesha Birla, Ujaas focuses on raising awareness, improving access to menstrual products, and promoting sustainability. By tackling issues related to affordability and sustainability, Ujaas hopes to create a lasting legacy of change and foster a cycle of sustainability.
The initiative recognizes that menstrual health is a critical but often overlooked issue affecting public health and hindering progress toward building a more progressive nation. Ujaas conducts awareness workshops for adolescent girls and collaborates with schools and NGOs across Maharashtra.
Recently, Ujaas has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide economic opportunities for women living in rural areas through a program that trains 100 Women in Self-Help Groups to manufacture cloth pads.

 

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