February 2020: As the stats go by, only 12% of women in India have access to sanitary hygiene products out of the huge menstruating population of 40 Crore. Women in resource-poor settings in India put their health at immense risk during menstruation. From using mud & ash to dirty clothes, menstrual hygiene takes a backseat due to financial constraints and inaccessibility to clean products. Keeping this in mind, Sayaji Pune collaborated with Humjoli Foundation to get women trained as menstrual health and hygiene educators and volunteers, so that they can go back and spread the awareness to a larger audience.
The session was organised at the Sayaji Pune and was attended by volunteers from all over the city and employees of the hotel. Dr Sania Siddiqui, Founder of Humjoli Foundation, trained the attendees on how to disseminate the knowledge and awareness among all strata of society precisely in a structured way and also distributed red dot disposal bags on behalf of Humjoli Foundation. Sayaji Pune is already catering to the need of women hygiene by keeping women hygiene wash & napkins in the women’s washroom. Reaching the marginalised community through penetration of a large number of such trained volunteers will help in eradicating ‘period poverty’ and replace it with ‘period positivity’.
Humjoli is a Pune-based foundation spearheaded by Dr Sania Siddiqui that aims to spread awareness about menstrual health and hygiene. While doing this it primarily emphasizes breaking menstruation taboos and myths. This all is done by ‘reaching & teaching’ women and young girls to sensitize them about the issues related to periods through conducting sessions, workshops, personal counselling, and sanitary napkin distribution drives. It has over 300 volunteers who are trained on taking ‘Period Talk’ sessions in schools, rural areas, and other similar setups. Apart from taking sessions for women and girls, the foundation has specially designed modules for young boys and fathers as well with the motive to educate men so that they become a support system.