Personal hygiene programme for rural women by Manipal Foundation
To commemorate 100th International Women's Day on March 8, Manipal Foundation, a charitable trust from Manipal Group, has taken up a noble cause to address the basic hygiene problems for rural and urban adolescent girls and poor women in Karnataka.
On the occasion of the centenary celebrations of International Women's Day (IWD), Manipal Foundation in collaboration with the Community Medicine Department of Manipal University launched the Personal Hygiene support programme for rural adolescent girls and women, from economically weaker strata of the society. Single largest reason for girl student's high dropout rate on reaching puberty is lack of sanitation facility and access to affordable personal hygiene products.
This holistic program has a larger objective of seeing girls complete their education and not become school drop outs on reaching puberty and also provide self employment to a large number of rural women. Personal Hygiene Program for adolescent girls and women will partner with certain agencies to provide free/ subsidized sanitary napkins to adolescent girls in government schools, on an ongoing basis. The benefit of this program will also be extended at a later stage to the other women family members of the girls at a subsidized cost.
The Foundation will be partnering with Community Medicine Department of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, local government agencies and likeminded NGOs /individuals/ corporate partners to take this program to remote districts in Karnataka, initially. Bala Warrier, CEO, Manipal Foundation, who is spear heading this initiative said, "We are planning to replicate the original model with women SHGs in Rural areas in the next few months. The packets will be distributed with the help of identified government agencies to government schools and hostels along with proper counseling and guidance on the usage and disposal of the product after use.
"As part of a very large Educational and Healthcare Conglomerate, we strongly believe in our commitment to the society at large and the downtrodden in particular. The issue of personal hygiene that leads to various infectious diseases among women cannot be wished away. We also perceive this initiative for adolescent girls and women as a step towards Empowerment of Women by helping them become self reliant, raise their self esteem and make their own living through small scale manufacturing and distribution units. Especially in rural areas, the awareness on personal hygiene is low and affordable solutions are not available resulting in spread of infection and related diseases. We are committed to supporting this cause through education, counseling sessions and awareness drives, “added Warrier.