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TBI Blogs: Girls in Rural Rajasthan Learn That Menstruation Is No Taboo, Thanks to These Volunteers

Talking about topics like menstruation and menstrual health can be difficult in rural India. Recognising this, a team of volunteers decided to create a space where young girls from a Rajasthan village could discuss these topics without fear.

On the 1st of February, our team reached Sadri village and met the people residing here. We met with women, youth, and teenage girls, and acquired some information about the culture, education, and history of the place. Our team realized that the level of education in the village is quite satisfactory. However, along with formal education, teenage girls should get health-related teachings as well, which they neither get at home from their mothers, nor at school from their teachers. Our team decided to talk to these young girls regarding menstrual health so as to create awareness around the topic.

With this in our heads, we went to the school and talked to the Principal, telling him about our intention to conduct a programme on girl’s health. We are very grateful to the Principal and teachers for allowing us to use the school campus to run the session. We are also very thankful to Sumitra who works with Jatan Sansthan, as she played a very significant role in the programme by sharing a great amount of knowledge on girl’s health with all of us.

This was the first time when a session like this, on a topic like menstruation, was conducted here. Teen girls were told how they can talk about periods without any apprehension, with their mother, sister, or friends. We explained to them that periods are natural and there is nothing wrong about it, and it’s us who can change the stigmas that surround it.

We also explained to them about taking extra care of their diets during these days.

The impact of the session on menstrual health was such that three girls came forward to open up about the problems they face during periods, and got solutions to those problems. For me, this session on menstrual health was very interesting, as we had made various posters and each poster was read out loud and explained afterwards.

Before this session, these girls had never got a chance to even talk about the topic. This was a fairly new experience for me as well, as we ended up making new relationships by having this kind of conversation. We provided these girls with a space where they can freely speak their minds and say whatever they want.

About the author: Jyoti Hanote volunteered with Pravah ICS from January – April 2017 and was placed with partner organisation Jatan Sansthan in district Rajsamand. This blog was originally written in Hindi and has been transcribed and translated by former Pravah ICS volunteer Rupal Hariyaow.

To venture on the exciting volunteering journey of Pravah ICS yourself, fill out the application form here.

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Written by Pravah

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Pravah is an organisation based in New Delhi, working to impact issues of social justice through youth citizenship action.