WaterAid India recognises school children, especially adolescent girls, as important nodes of knowledge transfer. Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalayas (KGBV), a residential school for girls in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, is one such example, where Menstrual Health Management (MHM) is a primary focus area. The key objective is to empower these girls so much so that they train their peer groups and create awareness on the same.
And this is not all. The entire state is working dedicatedly towards this cause.Adolescent girls are motivated to work as change agents in order to break the taboos associated with menstruation. At the block level, capacity building training sessions are held for the core group girls, with the help of behaviour change communication (BCC) and information, education and communication (IEC) tools. The concerned district level officers are also involved in this process.
In Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh, a training was held for core group girls from all KGBV schools, in December 2017. A similar activity was taken up in Hyderabad to support adolescent girls in spreading a word about MHM, as well as clarifying the various myths and taboos centered on it. Using children as a medium of information exchange, the programme intends to establish a student MHM council/club to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and share information and capacities in MHM in school as well as at the community level.
Also, in Raichur district of Karnataka, the team reached out to over 700 girls across nine schools.
Moreover, in a separate event, adolescent girls from tribal communities of Nedak district interacted with Mr. Vikasa Raj, Principle Secretary of Panchayati Raj and Rural Development of Telangana, and discussed the MHM budget under the IEC component as a part of the Swacch Bharat Mission – Rural. The girls submitted a memorandum along with MHM guidelines for allocation of budget for MHM training sessions and provision of clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene facilities.
Impressed with the confidence and diligence with which the young girls interacted, Mr. Raj assured them that all necessary steps would be taken for appropriate implementation of the budget and all associated programmes.