Rotaractors tackle menstrual hygiene issues in Punjab

In a taboo-breaking event, Rotaract Club of Austin Institutes, RID 3070, organised a menstrual hygiene seminar for students of the Government Girls Senior Secondary School at Bal Sarai village in Amritsar. “The idea was to end social embarrassment over menstruation. Girls normally hesitate to discuss freely about pain, cramps and infections with their parents, teachers and friends. Hence, most of them are ignorant about the entire process. We clarified their queries at the interactive session, at the end of which they became comfortable with us,” said IPP Deepika Sharma.

Rotaract Club of Austin Institutes Trainer Ajit Paul Singh Naphrey and Rtr Deepika Sharma (to his right) along with the government school girls.
Rotaract Club of Austin Institutes Trainer Ajit Paul Singh Naphrey and Rtr Deepika Sharma (to his right) along with the government school girls.

Besides teaching girls and children about Good Touch, Bad Touch, the Rotaractors impressed upon the participants including parents and teachers on the need to use sanitary pads and removing misconceptions related to periods. During weekends, the Rotaract teams engage rural women on issues of personal hygiene.

The Rotaractors distributed 1,000 sanitary pads to the girls during the session. Project Chair Gurleen Kaur coordinated with the School Principal Narinder Kaur and faculty for the successful conduct of the seminar.

Club Trainer Ajit Paul Singh Naphrey, who is also the Director of Austin Institute of Airhostess Training, Jalandhar, gave valuable tips and suggestions on self-defence and how to guard against stalkers. About 70 girl students along with 30 faculty members benefitted from the MH seminar.

In another initiative, the club distributed 500 sanitary pads, sponsored by IPDG Barjesh Sighal, to needy women at Gandhi Nagar in Jalandhar. As many as 35 Rotaractors were involved in the menstrual hygiene project.

Naphrey, a member of RC Jalandhar Civil Lines, has been the mentor for the Rotaractors ever since the club was formed in Oct 2018. Their flagship project Meri Pehchaan (My identity) imparts functional literacy to women in rural areas near Jalandhar to make them self-reliant and earn a decent livelihood. “We will continue our focus on women’s development as it is close to our heart,” said Club President Ranjit Singh Naphrey.

From this year, the club has taken up the upkeep of a desolate park near Apeejay College. “We will take up the beautification of this green belt by repairing the play equipment, painting the benches and planting saplings. Yoga classes will be conducted for residents for healthy living,” he added. The Rotaract club has applied to the Municipal Corporation for taking up such beautification work at more parks in Jalandhar.

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