Under the Tata Water Mission umbrella, the Tata Trusts today, announced its intervention into Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in the rural areas of Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
Since 2015, the Trusts’ Tata Water Mission has been working among rural communities for improved access to safe, assured, and adequate drinking water, improved environmental sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Divyang Waghela, Head, Tata Water Mission, The Tata Trusts, said, “Behaviour change is our primary objective with regard to hygienic menstrual practices in an environment that supports menstruation. In addition to the trainings delivered, we will facilitate women federations and local social entrepreneurs to establish supply chain mechanism to provide options of a range of products, preferably environment friendly products. Normalizing conversations on menstruation in all spheres helps create a platform to provide comprehensive information, safe products, and infrastructure. It is essential to streamline efforts and messaging related to normalizing menstruation and reach out to influencers at all levels from families to policy makers to shift the conversations on menstruation from impurity and shame to normal and healthy.”
The announcement of an MHM was made against the backdrop of an engaging and thought-provoking series of panel discussions at the inaugural edition of The Force Beyond, a philanthropic effort by the Tata Trusts, to create a level playing field for women. The gathering brought to the fore the unwavering and inimitable force of women with messages of hope and encouragement to inspire more people to become Champions of Change.
The MHM programme has been split into two parts – school interventions and community interventions:
- The community interventions will see sessions being delivered to menstruating women up till the age of 55.
- In schools, adolescent girls from Class VI to Class XII, will have school modules delivered over 4 sessions, building capacities of peer mentors and teachers who in turn ensure sustainability within the school in the coming years.
- Additionally, boys from Class VIII upwards will be made aware of subjects such as the reproductive cycle (male & female) and how to provide a supportive socio-cultural environment for their mothers and sisters.
The Tata Trusts will train community members and young girls to become Community Resource Person(s) to implement the community and school programmes respectively. The Trusts have partnered with organizations such as Sukhibhava, Bangalore and Jatan Designs, Rajasthan for providing technical support.
The Tata Trusts will also partner with Government authorities, local stakeholders and like-minded entities addressing all aspects of the MHM value chain; by ensuring sustainability through building capacities of front-line workers.