Adolescents

Adolescents

Like most rural Indian parts, Hingalgunj and surrounding regions of Sunderbans are not free of taboos and medieval belief systems. These ills of society hinder the development of communities. Team SWS works very hard to make people aware and desensitize issues like menstruation & subsequent health issues. They reach out to adolescent women and their families and make 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 the literacy rate in North 24 Parganas has grown by 80%, but the figures are different for the literacy rate of women. Only 35% of women complete school. Such a lack of education and literacy makes the overall community weaker. The lack of education and literacy leads to a lack of awareness and less exposure to menstrual and reproductive health. Women fall victim to several myths and misconceptions.

In the interior and backward areas of Hasnabad & Hingalganj, almost all students are first-generation learners and most drop out of school after primary education. More than 20% of parents and families do not want their girls to continue school 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 a 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 portrays that quite a good percentage of girls get pregnant between 15-19 years. Nearly 30% of girls are married off between 15 – 18 years.

Objectives

  • Awareness of menstruation and menstrual health by providing facts and scientific information to the girl students of the specific schools of Hingalganj.
  • To develop 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 our program has influenced more and more women every month. We have created a positive impact by reaching out to 1634 girls in 2018. In April 2019, we noted an increase in girls’ attendance 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 the next year. We plan to provide girls with sanitary napkins and other resources. We want to create a meaningful impact on the lives of adolescents through which they can lead a dignified life and enjoy their Rights & Entitlements.