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Breaking taboos: Ehsaas International talks about menstrual hygiene

Continuing its mission to improve the standard of living of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Ehsaas International, on Sunday, conducted an interactive session on “Women Menstrual health and Hygiene” at Mir Behri area of Rainawari Srinagar.

The event, that mainly deliberates on self-care, kick-started on May 1 and will be followed by more such programmes to create awareness among womenfolk about the use and disposal of sanitary pads.

In today’s event, in-charge of the programme and a journalist by proffession, Zehra Shafi, spoke at length about the benefits of using sanitary pads to avoid many dreadful diseases. She also talked about the social taboos associated with menstruation and how we can overcome them. However, there was hesitation among women to talk about these feminine issues that have a large impact on their health and daily chores.

Another guest, Gazala Nasir, Project officer NIRD, also stressed on the cleanliness habits and personal hygiene. She briefed women about the proper use and disposal of sanitary pads. She also educated young girls about how they can differentiate between good touch and bad touch.

To give an Islamic perspective about the issue, Ehsaas had also invited a local woman preacher Mrs. Tanveera. She deliberated on the significance of cleanliness in Islam and how our Prophet (PBUH) would love those who used to keep their surroundings unpolluted.

During the programme, many young girls complained that they don’t easily get sanitary pads as they live in the interiors of Dal Lake. “We live in Dal and hardly have a shop here that sells sanitary napkins. We go to Dargah sometimes or Rainawari and buy stock for months,” said one of the locals.

Another young female said the SMC department never visits the area and they have to manage the waste on their own. “I have hardly seen a sweeper sweeping our area or dumping the garbage. We don’t even have dustbins. Where will we dispose of waste? We are forced to throw trash in the water”.

Syed Amjad Rizvi, the chief coordinator of Ehsaas, stressed that under the initiative, the organisation would provide sanitary pads free of cost where there is non-availability. “We would provide sanitary pads free of cost in areas where the concept of its use is new to people and where there are no shops to sell these pads.