Bhubaneswar: The School of Women’s Studies, Utkal University organised a virtual seminar on Women’s Health and Hygiene: A Pathway for Development on the occasion of Women Hygiene Day. The seminar was supported by the Rural Outreach Programme, RUSA. Renowned gynecologist Dr. Sujata Kar graced the event as the chief speaker. Dr. Jaya Singh Kshatri, Public Health Specialist, ICMR-RMRC Bhubaneswar, and Mrs. Tapasi Praharaj, National Secretary of AIDWA & Social Activist was the distinguished speaker on the occasion.
The Honourable Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sabita Acharya presided over the seminar and said, “Health has a direct correlation with the GDP of any country. A healthier population means a prosperous country. Menstrual health and hygiene are a major part of women’s health and can’t be ignored. We must talk about it.”
Menstrual health remains a taboo subject in our society. The issues around menstrual health and hygiene are less talked about and provisions for ensuring a woman’s menstrual health such as sanitary napkins are not easily everywhere in rural India. Dr. Jaya Singh Kshatri spoke greatly on the topic and said there is a need to create more and more awareness on the topic everywhere. He suggested collaborative approach researchers, academicians, and service providers can significantly improve women’s health and hygiene.
Dr. Sujata Kar spoke about the delicate and complicated anatomy of reproductive organs of women and talked about how a lot of traditional menstrual practices adversely affect a woman’s health. Each one of us, irrespective of our profession, should become the ambassadors of better female reproductive health and create awareness among each other.
Mrs. Tapasi Praharaj put the spotlight on facilities available in the community and their correlation with hygiene in the community. The lack of water facilities and toilets can impact our health in a significant manner. She spoke about the current status and implementation of Govt schemes for toilet and water provisions in rural India. “Women’s health and hygiene should be taken up as a movement rather than a mere campaign. There should be budgetary allocation specifically for Women’s health and hygiene,” added Mrs. Praharaj.
The seminar was attended by students, teachers, educationists, researchers, and NGOs in great numbers. Prof. Jayanti Dora, Director, School of Women’s Studies coordinated the event. Prof. P. K. Hota, Coordinator, RUSA gave the welcome address and Ms. Liza Swain, Programme Manager – Gender, Rural Outreach Programme proposed the formal Vote of Thanks.