In India when you walk around for survey regarding the Menstrual Hygiene Management, you will not be greatly impressed by the results that you would come across. Roughly about 48% of adolescent girls in India are aware about MHM.
Every girl who goes through a bleeding every month must be well educated about how to deal with it. As a women’s sensitive organs are involved in this process, there should not be any point of risk. But are the girls in our country being rightly taught and informed about this?
As a greater percentage of girls do not have any idea about menstruation, the moment they happen to enter this cycle, the first thing they deal with is distress and panic. As this is the popular hushed topic that’s brushed under the carpet, without a single question they fall into the old tradition where this has been created as taboo. They use the wrong amenities as they are not well introduced to the healthy ones.
The school going girls happen to drop out because of family pressure and also because of absence of proper toilets in schools. Entering into the menstruation cycle is often regarded as symbol of adulthood. Thus, families in villages treat the girls as ready for marriage and thus stop them from going to schools. One who is well educated about MHM knows how inconvenient it gets for any girl during periods when she doesn’t find a clean or proper toilet. Hence, to avoid such inconvenience many girls miss classes during their cycles. This causes a great loss academically when you get down to making an aggregate.
A girl should also know a proper way to handle her body during menstruation. It is that time when you should treat your body with utmost care rather than being tortured because of some illogical tradition and dogmas. You should know everything about the sanitary product that you choose to use. There are plentiful of menstruation aids but you got to choose wisely.
Their also has been advancements like tampons, reusable sanitary napkins and menstrual cups about which the remote population remains unaware. These products that not only are healthy for our bodies but also contribute towards reducing menstrual waste.
When questioned about why to sit at home during the cycle, girls are often advised not to get involved in any physical activity during menstruation. When you research or consult a professional they will tell you that there is no harm in doing so. In fact doing exercises like Pilates, yoga, planks might actually help you in getting rid of some cramps that you experience.
Many girls come across many questions regarding menstruation but happen to silent themselves. They do not spot out the right space to raise their questions. Every teaching body must have an MHM awareness body where these girls can seek proper guidance and can raise questions whenever required. Through this we can also save a girl from entering into some chronic health issue.
Globally, about 1.2 billion girls have no access to healthy hygiene practices. 76% of the girls in India remain unaware about menstruation before their first period. With these statistics the question arises that is India suffering from period poverty? With this question knocking at our doors, we have come to an alarming where this issue needs to be attended efficiently. We need to create awareness about the same right from elementary education level.
By Meghna Patnaik