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Pad parties spread awareness on menstrual hygiene among Madhya Pradesh youngsters

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Special Correspondent

BHOPAL: In remote Majhgava of Umaria district, group of girls celebrated a ‘pad party’ where they talked about menstruation and importance of sanitary pads.

Last week similar a pad party was organized in Villages Khedi and Amli Faliya of Jhabua district, where adolescents of a group called as Mahi Toli, held a pad party and openly talked about menstrual hygiene issues and the challenges they face.

This was facilitated by NGO Vasudha Sansthan, which is working with UNICEF on providing space to adolescents to share and express their opinions.

Similarly in Harda, group of young girls gift each other sanitary pads on their birthdays and celebrate pad parties.

Bharti, young girl from Harda shares, “we used cloth pads earlier during our periods and now we gift each other sanitary pads and use them, so that we can practice better hygienic methods. We also share short movies in our pad party to bust myths and superstitions. We started this practice about one and a half years ago and are supported by Changeloomers project of NGO Synergy Sansthan and UNICEF.”

This is an effort by adolescents and young girls to talk about an issue, which is normally not talked about openly in rural parts of the State, says Gayatri Parihar of Vasudha Sansthan

As per National Family Health Survey (4), in Madhya Pradesh only 37.6 % of women in between age of 15-24 years use hygienic method during their menstrual periods. In rural parts usage of hygienic methods is only around 26.4 % and need to spread awareness is more there, she says.

'Improved knowledge on menstrual hygiene management and safe and hygienic practices during menstruation has a direct impact on adolescent girls and women’s health.  Increased awareness on essential menstrual hygiene products is critical to enable adolescent girls to adapt effective menstrual hygiene practices' Michael Juma, Chief, UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh said.

Recently UNICEF also engaged with social media influencers to spread awareness and talk about the issue of menstruation in the State. Now, Madhya Pradesh has a state roadmap on menstrual hygiene management, which has been put together by the State Government with support of UNICEF and Water Aid.