Rota Girls work for menstrual hygiene awareness

Out of the six goals of Rotary International, sanitation is a very important goal, which is much needed in Odisha. Girls from the Rotaract Club of Bhubaneswar Capital have adopted the Damana slum in Bhubaneswar to make the people aware and educated about sanitation, with particular focus on menstrual hygiene.

Villagers with Rotaractors at an awareness workshop.

As part of their campaign to raise awareness about sanitation, Rotaractors visit the slum every weekend and go door to door to meet the female members of every family in the age group 12 to 30 years of age. They convince them to assemble  at one  place where our Rotaractors teach them about hygiene and sanitation. Our volunteers then distribute sanitation pads to the girls and women in the village.

The team leader of this campaign Rtr  Sudeshna said that there is a lot of change now in the slum. “People were so ignorant earlier that they avoided even talking about menstruation, but they are now very friendly. We  have reached around 200 girls and women in these slums till now.”

On Oct 15, World Handwashing Day, different clubs in the district organised various  programmes in  schools. The Rotaract Club of Bhubaneswar Friends organised one in a school where 500 students participated. “The response was the best experience of our life in this gratifying social activity,” said Rtr  Samarpika Routray , President of the club.

In this Rota year, our Rotaractors are trying to reach more than 1,000 families. Sanitation is a basic necessity for every human being. Half of the population is unaware and ignorant about female sanitation, and this lack of knowledge leads to many  health hazards in congested slum areas.  This measure taken by Rota girls is, indeed, a wonderful step towards a healthy lifestyle, and hopefully, it will really make a difference in the lives of these young women.

The writer is DRR of District 3262.

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