Berhampur: Adolescents through the ‘teen clubs’ have taken initiative to fight stigma and social taboos related to the menstrual of teens in the slums in Berhampur city. They both have started a campaign among the adolescent and youth in the city to sensitise on issues related to the menstrual hygiene, related stigma, and also fighting for access to menstrual products, sanitation infrastructure, public services, status of women and girls in society and gender disparity.
Smurti Kumari and other volunteered to spare their vacation by sensitising adolescent girls and boys in 32 slums but they have decided to engage themselves and other adolescent leaders throughout the year. They started their action in April’ 2019 by just talking to young girls and boys on related issues to their health, education, and skill development in three slums i.e. Raghupati Nagar, Gramdevati Street, Jaganath Nagar, Old Berhampur, Dhimira Bauri Street, Hanuman Nagar, Mathura and Jagabandhu Street in Berhampur.
They already have a roadmap to sensitise more than 1000 adolescent girls in 40 slums on menstrual hygiene, fight social stigma and taboos, access to sanitation infrastructure and products, and provide them life skills, making them go back to schools and college and link to develop their skill for livelihood and develop leadership skills and above all for gender parity society. They also engaged with the ASHA, ANM and Anganwadi Workers in these localities to improve service delivery to the adolescents.
To break the silence, raise awareness and change negative social norms surrounding MHM around the world and to engage decision-makers at global, national and local levels to increase the political priority for MHM and catalyze action, the world today celebrating “World Menstrual Hygiene Day”. On this occasion theses teen clubs also celebrating the day involving the adolescents in slums in Berhampur city by maintaining Covid-19 preventive protocols like social distancing and use of mask.
Smruti Kumari is leading Berhampur Children federation; Kismita Das, Ankita Das and Mamali Das took actively participation and from YSD Abhiram Kanhar, Mamata Muni and Praksh Chandra Sahoo facilitate volunteers on this day.