Adolescents

Adolescents

Just like most parts of rural India, Hingalgunj and surrounding regions of Sunderbans are not free the taboos and medieval belief systems. These ills of the society hinder development of communities. Team SWS works very hard to make people aware and desensitize issues like menstruation & subsequent health issues. Reaching out to the adolescent women and their families and making them aware of hygiene for health importance. This enables us to make communities aware of women health, and the importance of hygiene and necessary medical attention.

Researches state that literacy rate in North 24 Parganas has grown by 80% but the figures are different for literacy rate of women. Only 35% women complete school. Such lack of education and literacy makes the overall community weaker. The lack of education and literacy leads to lack of awareness and less exposure in terms of menstrual and reproductive health. Women fall victim of several myths and misconceptions.

In the interior and backward areas of Hasnabad&Hingalganj almost all students are first generations learners and most drop out of school after primary education. More than 20% parents and families do not want their girl children to continue scool after primary classes. This is due to poverty, fear &insecurity for girl children, early marriage, child labour and lack of proper sanitation at most govt. schools. Household chores, eloping for better life and human trafficking contribute to drop out of school for most girl children.

As per NFHS –IV survey the child marriage rate in these rural areas is very high.It is almost 25 %. This Survey also portray that quite a good percentage of girls get pregnant between 15-19 years.  Almost 30% girls are married off between 15-18 years

Objectives

  • Awareness on menstruation and menstrual health by providing facts and scientific information to the girl students of the specific schools of Hingalganj.
  • To develop a positive behaviour on menstrual health and proper practice of menstrual hygiene.
  • Delaying early marriage, improving access to health services, strengthening protective factors such as communication with parents.
  • To develop the capacity of the school management to ensure a positive environment within the school regarding the practice of menstrual health and hygiene.

Reach

We started this program in July 2018 in three Government schools under Hingalganj Block and one school under Hasnabad Block, North 24 Parganas. The responses from the girls who had been participating in this program have been overwhelming. We are proud to say that with every on-going month our program has been influencing more and more women. We have been able to create a positive impact by reaching out to 1634 girls in 2018.On April 2019; we noted an increase in attendance of girls by 70%. After repeated sessions with the girls, they became more and more sensitive to the issue.

The Road Ahead

Considering the immense responses from students and schools, Swapnopuron intends to cover another 12 Government schools in next one year. Our plan is to provide girls with sanitary napkins and other resources. We intend to create a meaningful impact on the lives of the adolescents through which they can lead a dignified life and enjoy their Rights & Entitlements.