We want to keep the girls in school, by helping them manage their periods better.”
This was the aim of the Rotaractors of Rotaract Club of Guwahati Luit, D 3240, when they launched the #WeForHer campaign in mid-November. By the end of the month, they had “distributed 1,100 sanitary pads to 400 adolescent underprivileged girls in two schools in Guwahati,” says Tushar Jalan, the President of this one-year-old club. Each student was given three packets to last for three months.
A month-long social media campaign crowdfunded the contribution of the sanitary pads. Experts from the Narayana Super Specialty Hospitals were engaged to educate the girls about menstruation, benefits of using sanitary pads and personal hygiene. The project was executed in the Lalchand Goenka Hindi High School and the Rang Mahal High School.
“One in five girls in India is forced to drop out of school at puberty. Eighty-eight per cent women in India use cloth, ash or sand during this time. Such heart-rending messages impelled us to address the issue in some way and thus was born the #WeForHer initiative,” says Saurav Jhunjhunwala, the Club Secretary. The team proposes to follow-up with these schools after three months; a donor will be attached to a school for regular supply of the napkins and reinforce awareness in
“The teachers welcomed our campaign and were happy that finally someone is taking the initiative,” says Jalan.
In yet another initiative, the Rotaractors brought colour and life to the Shankardev Shishu Niketan school in Maligaon. “We want every child who walks through the school’s portals to enjoy the days of schooling in a beautiful and vibrant campus,” says the president. They have painted the school building and propose to add a toilet block in January with support from a District Grant.
A walkathon, where 250 Rotaractors walked 500 m, shoulder-to-shoulder, blindfolded and led by 50 visually-impaired people, was held to promote eye donation. The march, flagged off by MLA Siddharth Bhattacharya, was supported by the Rotary clubs, Lions clubs, Art of Living Foundation and other NGOs.
The club’s Donate, don’t dump campaign fetched a large number of blankets and woollen clothes. The Rotaractors donated new woollens and accessories, blankets and toys for children residing in the Parijat Academy hostel in the city. They also cheered them up with games and entertainment.
“At the end of the day, after completing each project, more than the beneficiaries, we feel a sense of fulfillment that we’ve shared our goodness with them. We’re thankful for the opportunity to be of help to someone and more than anything, it binds us together,” says Jalan, echoing his team’s sentiments.