Menstrual Hygiene Awareness in 3 rural schools in Kolar ( July 28, 2011)


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REPORT: Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Program – July 28, 2011

  On July 28, 2011, YFS volunteers Vyjayanti, Namitha and Sinu travelled to 3 rural schools in Kolar to spread awareness on Menstrual Hygiene and to distribute free Sanitary Napkins sponsored by Rotary Bangalore West. A brief report of our findings is presented below:


Govt High School, Devarayasamudra

Govt High School, Yalegondanahalli

Govt High School& College, Avani

Total Number of girls given Awareness to




Total Number of girls who have attained Puberty

44 (49%)

37 (61%)

110 (65%)

Total Number of girls using Sanitary Pads

5 (11%)

14 (38%)

52 (47%)

Total Number of girls using Cloth




Total Sanitary Napkins Distributed






Current Situation:

  • Awareness talks from the nearby Devraj Urs Medical College have been happening in all of the three schools, but the topics covered are Malaria, TB, HIV/Aids and Nutrition. The topic on Menstrual Hygiene had not been covered until we intervened.



Level of Awareness

  • The Avani school students were more aware than the other school students, though the 3 schools are located at about 5-10 kms from each other.  One reason for this could be that the Avani College is also in the same premises, and majority of the college girls were already using Sanitary Napkins.
  • A lot of coaxing was necessary to get the girls to talk about their experiences and problems. However, 5 girls from Avani, 3 girls each from Devarayasamudra & Yelagondanahalli schools shared with us their experiences.
  • The teachers had doubts about why we should not dispose Sanitary Pads in water / toilet. It is likely that they were following these methods, hence the doubt.
  • Some girls were “burying” the used pads in mud, and this was a process that most girls were familiar with even if they were not disposing it in this manner.
  • The basics of using and disposing a Sanitary Napkin was known to some girls, and they were also aware of the type of hygiene to be practiced while using cloth.

Acceptance of Topics

  • All teachers and students were very happy with the topics covered, and also with the distribution of free Sanitary Napkins.
  • In one of the schools, the teacher felt that living a girls’ life is a pain right from the first day. And went on to elaborate how sad it is to be born a girl. This teacher hadn’t attended the awareness talk.

Common misconceptions

  • Menstruation is necessary to get rid of the impure blood in the body
  • Menstrual blood itself is impure and bad blood
  • Disposing pads in water is OK
  • The normal age for attaining puberty is between 12 – 15 years and it is not normal to attain puberty at any other age
  • Every girl should get her period on exactly the 30th day after one period
  • We are not supposed to talk to boys or move around much after attaining puberty. The first 9 days in particular have to be spent only inside the house.




One student pulled a sad face and asked “Akka, why does this happen to us? Why do we have to go through this process of menstruation month after month?”  This made it necessary to explain the biological process that causes menstruation. In addition, we explained how this is a gift given only to women which gives them the ability to create a new life, and how this is a beautiful, positive thought. We left the girl with a smile.