The most common taboos and socio-cultural restrictions in India are menstruation & menstrual practices. Many of the adolescent girls in our country are ignorant of the scientific facts and hygienic health practices, due to which it results in adverse health outcomes. Annu Jha who is 24-year-old and Piramal Gandhi Fellow at Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership (PFEL) in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, is raising awareness about menstrual hygiene for young girls. Through her project ‘AaoBaatKarein’, she is raising awareness around menstruation in the villages of Jhunjhunu.
She has educated around 500 girls about menstruation hygiene management and Annu Jha aspires to expand the number to 21,000 girls in other senior secondary schools. The need for openness and acceptance of menstrual hygiene has pushed Annu to launch this project. She is interested to establish a platform which can allow girls to discuss the problems that were not well received back in the day.
Annu has faced the biggest challenge in creating the menstruation awareness was to make them aware of the usage and purpose of the incinerator for sanitary pad set-up in schools. As most of them were doing careless disposal of sanitary pads outside washrooms that were resulting in the transmission of diseases and even irregular periods amongst community members.