Bhubaneswar: Taking menstrual hygiene awareness to a new level, the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) through its Socially Smart Programme, included boys too in observing Menstrual Hygiene Day-2019 Tuesday.
Although the programme was being organised in the city for several years, boys were roped in for the first time. The programme was organised at the conference hall of the SC, ST Tribal Museum near CRP Square.
As the boys of today would be fathers of tomorrow, the inclusion of boys in the programme would be immensely helpful as fathers also have an important role in ensuring better menstrual hygiene along with mothers.
The Bhubaneswar Socially Smart Programme is a flagship initiative of BSCL organised in association with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It aims at raising social awareness and creating leadership qualities among youth, adolescent girls and women.
The BSCL-UNFPA programme is now being undertaken in 100 slums across the city in association with implementing partner Humara Bachpan.
Mantu Nayak, a youth leader from Kedarpalli Basti, said, “The participation of boys in this annual programme will definitely help the society to ensure better menstrual hygiene among girls. I am happy to participate in this programme.’’
Chittaranjan Behera, a youth leader from Ganganagar said, “Menstrual hygiene might be a subject in which boys may not take interest. However, for ensuring a healthy society we need to have boys too in the discussion rooms and today it happened.’’
Laxmipriya Bhukta, a peer leader from Durga Mandap Basti, who spoke on menstrual hygiene, said that there must not be any compromise on it as today’s girls are future mothers.
Arpita Mali of Gautam Nagar said, “The awareness should be more intense as people in rural areas and slums need good counsellors. There could be more risks to the health of future mothers due to dearth of such counsellors.”
General Manager (Social Projects) Deeptirani Sahu of BSCL, medical experts Binapani Nanda, Bijay Kumar Sadangi and Gender Experts Sarojini Brahma (BSCL) and Sisir Grahacharya were also present.
Menstrual Hygiene Day is being observed every year to create better understanding on all dimensions of menstrual management, and to create awareness on the various taboos associated with the process.
Small films on the subject were also shown, and young people were given a chance to share their feelings about the process. Experiences were also shared by girls before the gathering.
The programme was attended by around 120 boys and girls. Menstrual Hygiene Day is an annual awareness day observed May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene.
The day was initiated by a German-based NGO WASH United in 2014, and aims to help all menstruating individuals worldwide.
May 28 was selected to acknowledge that 28 days is the average length of the menstrual cycle. For billions of women and girls worldwide, menstruation, if not managed properly, can interrupt daily life.
Taboos, myths and shame surrounding menstruation can lead to teasing, shaming and exclusion from daily activities, and will have a negative effect on a girl’s feelings and dignity.