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Young girls ensured supply of sanitary napkins in their school

Bhajeet village is situated 10 km from Alwar in Ramgarh block. Here primary school was merged with upper primary school and the primary school building was used to run a Girls Resource Centre by Ibtada for young girls in the village. However timing of the GRC, from 4 PM to 6 PM, used to clash with the boys' play time in the primary school playground. This created a disturbance and distraction for the smooth functioning of GRC and performance of different activities by girls. Situation was further complicated because of the restriction on mobility of girls due to some elopement cases in the recent past in the village.

The girls were not discouraged, instead they decided to mend the situation and collectively asked the boys to change their play time or play in a different ground. As they were being requested politely, the boys also saw the point and started using a different ground.

As part of their training on reproductive health, the girls came to know about the use of sanitary napkins as well as the information that napkins are supplied in school for adolescent girls. But they didn’t get it in their school. Thinking of taking some action, the GRC girls wrote an application to their school requesting that the teachers distribute the sanitary napkins that are supplied to schools. Initially the teacher feigned ignorance that such supply came. For women of their generation, just talking about sanitary napkins or periods openly was a taboo and they were far from distributing the napkins to the girls in schools. The undistributed napkins were either used by some lady teachers themselves or used to be eaten away by rats in storage. But the girls insisted on receiving the supply and continued asking for it for over a month. Finally school administration succumbed to teh pressure and from next month, all eligible girls started getting sanitary napkins at the school.

Anju, Kavita and Pooja from the GRC were specially active and took the lead in the activity. They also got encouragement and support from Ibtada Field Coordinator Pinki Sain.



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