Strissue- Masik Swasthya Sangopan Prakalp, Chandrapur, Maharashtra, India
We have been approached by District Administration Chandrapur for designing Menstrual Health Management Program for the district. After extensive deliberations, we arrived at an approach for menstrual health management in the district. There are many interventions primarily focused on distributing and promoting products like sanitary napkins, menstrual cups, etc. There is hardly any focus on the practices. Strissue focuses on five pillars that are essential for ensuring the menstrual health of a woman; balanced diet, sufficient water, hygienic products, privacy and a platform to express. Instead of telling them ‘what to use’, we decided we would answer ‘how to use’ and adopt a three pronged approach of Knowledge (Survey) – Awareness – Disposal
We piloted Strissue- Masik Swasthya Sangopan Prakalp in Pombhurna block with the help of Tata Trusts. A survey with a representative sample of 13,000 women was done across the district to identify menstrual hygiene practices around the products and disposal techniques. A documentary film of about 40-min was conceptualized and created in Marathi with famous actors and screened across 63 villages in Pombhurna reaching more than 15000 girls and women. Post the screening, pamphlets stating the dos and the don’ts and healthy practices were distributed among the women for their reference.
Nowhere the documentary talks of menstruation as a problem or a taboo unlike most of the available resources. It only talks of the solution.
We worked closely with the health department of Zilla Parishad, MSRLM and Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal bachat gats, Janaseva – a Chandrapur based NGO and received an overwhelming response.
Currently, we are working extensively in 20 villages of Warora block under Tata Water Mission (TWM), an initiative of Tata Trusts.