Comparison between schools

REPORT: Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Sessions – July 16 & 21 (2011)

 On July 16 and 21, we conducted Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Sessions in 3 schools, covering a total of 346 high school girls. Some interesting findings during our interaction with the children, and a brief report of the 3 sessions are presented below.

Date & School

July 16 – Jaigopal Garodia Rashtrothana School, Banaswadi, Bangalore

July 21 – Devalapura Govt. School, Hoskote

July 21 – Jadegenahalli Govt. School, Hoskote

 

Awareness talks

 

 

40 girls (8th – 10th)

 

187 girls (8th – 10th)

 

111 girls (8th – 10th)

 

Girls attained puberty

 

27 (68%)

 

110 (59 %)

 

59 (53%)

 

 

Girls using Pads

 

25 (93%)

 

91 (83%)

 

 

2 (0.03%)

 

Girls using cloth

 

 

2 (0.07%)

 

18 (16%)

 

 

57 (97%)

Sanitary Napkin packets (8 pads) distributed

 

Nil

 

157 Packets (1256 pads)

 

131 Packets (1048 pads)

Findings:

  • Mindset: Children in Bangalore were much more open to talking about Menstrual Hygiene when compared to the children in rural govt. schools. And 93% girls in Bangalore knew about Sanitary Napkins. In the rural govt. schools, especially in Jadegenahalli, the girls were extremely shy and reserved, and it took some effort to get them comfortable with the topic being covered.
  •  Usage of Sanitary Napkins: The school in Devalapura had 83% girls using Sanitary Napkins, whereas the school in Jadegehalli (just 12 kms away) had just about 0.03% girls even aware of Sanitary Napkins! One reason is that the Devalapura school had a shop just across from where the Sanitary Napkins could be procured. In addition, the presence of college going students may have led to increased awareness about Sanitary Napkins.The girls from the Bangalore School were all aware of Sanitary Napkins, and 93 % were already using it.
  •  Acceptance of topics: The volunteers in Devalapura were given complete freedom to do the talks & even the teachers participated in the discussions, whereas in Jadegenahalli, the teachers requested volunteers not to show the chart on Female Reproductive System, and not to cover anything related to pregnancy. The teachers in Jadegenahalli said that this is the first time an awareness talk of any sort is being done for the girls, and anything beyond basics will not be appropriate. However, the talk was accepted very well by teachers in the Devalapura school and they were grateful for our intervention. While doing the same talk in Bangalore, children felt a lot more comfortable to approach volunteers with their doubts because we covered basic of reproduction & pregnancy.
  •  Awareness levels: Knowledge on correct disposal practices in all the schools was quite poor. In one school, even the teachers were sure that the best way to dispose Sanitary Napkins was by flushing them down the toilet! Girls using cloth often continue using it until it completely tears, and would not discard it every 3 months as they ideally should.
  • Student’s response: The response from children in coming forward to share their experiences, or in asking doubts during the discussion, was very encouraging. On an average, 2 to 3 girls from each school came forward and spoke openly, furthering our belief that we’re doing it the right way.

 

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