Our traditional society is replete with many orthodoxies that need to be amended in the light of current societal values— values that have been metamorphosed, primarily, due to technological innovation. Values related with personal hygiene of rural women are one such set of challenges that needs to be addressed in all earnest throughout the country. While collaborating with many national and UN agencies on adolescent issues for the last many years, the need to go beyond advocacy and awareness generation had been simmering in AUF team. This year it surfaced on the ground and resulted in a pilot project of Sanitary Napkin production and marketing, all done by rural women themselves.
The location chosen for the production and marketing centre was Sangel village in Nuh district of Mewat region of Haryana, one of the toughest regions as far as dispelling societal taboos around women personal hygiene is concerned. To AUF’s pleasant surprise the confident women of the region were more than welcome to the idea and the project ultimately took off despite some initial hiccups. I sincerely hope that the multi dimensional capacity building of these rural women through this project would pave the way for many more Sanitary Napkin production cum marketing projects through SHG model in the near future, not only in Haryana but other states too.
Expanding the scope and reach of other health related programs of AUF and scaling up the endeavors in the fields of Blood Donation, empowerment of adolescent girls and boys, Acid Survivors’ treatment and their empowerment apart from facilitating better educational opportunities for the meritorious but financially constrained young students of various states where Amar Ujala is present would happen as a logical extension of the efforts of AUF team.