Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
*The visual content above is for representational purpose and may not correspond to this project.
Empowering Minds is working in an urban slum which is inhabited by migrant population who have come to this area as semi-skilled or unskilled labourers in the nearby industrial area. The locality is dominated by SC and Muslim population and a majority of them are below poverty line. The awareness about health and hygiene is very low in the community and when it comes to women and adolescent girls, it is further low.
We, at our centre, give life skill training to adolescent girls and young women. We also teach them the employability skills like beauty care, stitching and tailoring. While interacting with these young women, it was found that they still use reused cloth during periods and adhere to unhealthy practices which can harm their reproductive health. These unhealthy practices causes menstrual infections, including white discharge, itching, burning, swollen ovaries and frequent urination.
The centre management was thinking about various ways to empower the young women with right information and knowledge about better practices for their health and hygiene. In this pursuance, they decided to provide them sanitary napkins and do this from time to time. However, when we came to know about the Sanitary Napkins Vending Machine from LetEndorse, we thought that installing this machine at school premises will help not only the beneficiaries coming to our centre but also the community women at large. The mother of the children who study at our non- formal centre and girls enrolled will be benefitted. Thus, we plan for the project to procure the machine for the centre and collect some funds for the same.
The biggest impact would be on these adolescent girls and young women who would get instant access to sanitary pads to combat menstrual emergencies, which happens to be a huge issue within the target group. They would also be rid of the shyness or embarrassment involved in going up to the local shops since they already happen to have a good rapport with the staff at the school. Once they get educated on the subject and start using menstrual pads for a hygienic lifestyle, these women can then spread the word among their family and kin.Every time INR 10 is inserted (as a note or as a combination of various coin denominations), a set of three high-quality napkins are dispensed. Initially the school staff and later representatives from the local community will manage procurement and stocking. The market cost of a set of three napkins is also INR 10, which ensures that once installed, the process would sustain on its own. After successful pilot, the goal is to propose the model to other communities, spread the learning and make this a replicable intervention across the city and beyond.
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