‘Come, Let’s Talk’ aims to break taboo on World Menstrual Hygiene Day

Bhubaneswar: With an aim to break the taboo of discussing menstrual hygiene in public, Bhubaneswar city administration authorities organised a special orientation workshop titled ‘Asantu Katha Heba’ (Come, Let’s Talk), on the occasion of the World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018 on Monday.

The workshop which was held at Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) conference hall witnessed participation of over 100 adolescent girls from the slums of Bhubaneswar Town City District (BTCD) along with ASHA workers and officials of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) and volunteers of social organisation ‘Humara Bachpan.’ Organised under Socially Smart Bhubaneswar initiative by BMC and BSCL in collaboration with UNFPA India, the workshop was aimed at creating awareness and educating adolescent girls residing in urban slums on menstrual health and hygiene so that they learn about the safe and healthy practices for themselves and can act as agents of change.

Obstetrics and gynaecology specialist of Unit IV Government Hospital, Reetanjali Mishra, who is also the Secretary of the women’s wing of Indian Medical Association, briefed the girls on menstrual hygiene, its importance and impact on the health of girls and women. Asserting that it is very much necessary to discuss about menstrual hygiene, she elaborated on various ways of maintaining sound menstrual health. Stating that lack of physical activity is the reason why around 60% of girls are not having regular menstruations, she advised the participants to give due importance to physical activities in their daily routine. She further advised them to eat a lot of green vegetables as well as iron and folic acid tablets keeping in mind that average 50 ml of blood is lost during every menstruation cycle.

Addressing the participants, Chayanika Mishra, consultant to Odisha SC & ST Department exhorted the girls to shun shyness and freely discuss such issues among friends and family members. He also advised the participants to follow healthy practices and urged them to use sanitary napkins to maintain good hygiene, which is very important for them as young adolescents.

A special Menstruation Hygiene Kit containing a poster & a brochure describing menstruation health and hygiene, a sanitary towel, sanitary napkins, a bottle of liquid sanitary wash etc. was distributed to each participant.

“I will go and tell my mother what all I learnt in this workshop. This type of workshop is good as it now makes us aware about the fact that menstruation is not a bad thing. I will share it with other girls younger to me so that they also are aware,” said a Class IX student of Saheed Nagar Government High School who attended the workshop.