Centre for Catalyzing Change (C3) and Open Text (formerly called Microfocus), disseminate menstrual hygiene information and resources to young girls in Pataudi District, Haryana.
C3 introduced an unique, first-of-its-kind resource – ‘Navya Kits’ – tothe girls under this intervention. A collection of products and information that would help these young girls understand and manage their periods and dispel myths and taboos surrounding menstruation, these Navya Kits are a cornerstone for adolescent menstrual hygiene. The kits contain six reusable pads (that would last up to 2 years), a hot water bottle for menstrual pain management, a diary with interactive information on menstrual hygiene and taboos, and a detergent bottle that will help the girls wash and re-use their pads.
To further supplement wider usage and safe disposal of sanitary napkins, C3 has also begun setting up incinerators in all of the five schools in which the initiative has been running.The Navya kits are also an essential tool for future advocacy around menstrual hygiene, and is something C3 will aim to disseminate through its other adolescent health initiatives as well.
At the launch event, Vandana Nair, Lead, Adolescent and Young People Program at C3, further emphasized the importance of educating young girls about menstrual hygiene, stating that “Menstruation is a natural bodily process that they will likely experience for several decades. By providing them with accurate information and resources, we can help them understand and manage their menstrual cycle and dispel any myths or taboos surrounding menstruation.”
Dr Tanaya Narendra, popularly known as Dr Cuterus, an Instagram influencer with over a million followers and author, was also present at the launch, and interacted directly with the young girls to answer their pressing concerns, to encourage them to have open conversations around menstruation, and providing valuable insights on how young girls can maintain their menstrual health. According to Dr. Cuterus, “this initiative by Centre for Catalyzing Change (C3) is absolutely unique, fun, and important for all the adolescent girls between the ages of 11-13. The products in the Navya kit will help young girls be prepared for their first period and also give them the right information in an engaging manner.”
Ms. Pushpanjali Saikia, CSR Lead India from Micro Focus now Open Text, reasserted the need to provide girls with all the necessary information to help them achieve both better health and future success. This includes digital literacy, larger emotional and physical wellbeing, and the confidence to seek out better opportunities and better life choices in today’s increasingly digitized world.
The initiative aims to improve the knowledge of adolescents on life skills, health and wellness, emotional and mental wellbeing, and gender, through participatory processes and digital technology. The program will also link adolescents with appropriate services to address their health needs.
C3 and Open Text are committed to supporting young girls and providing them with the resources they need to navigate puberty with confidence and lead healthy, productive lives.