REPORT: Menstrual Hygiene Awareness talk in Atiguppe Govt School & College (Sep 8, 2011)


Comments   |   dfs Bangalore, Reports



On Sep 8, 2011, Vyjayanti and I conducted the Menstrual Hygiene Awareness talk at Attiguppe Government School and P.U. College. There were around 250 girls from std. 8 to II PUC.


Even before we could start, the school principal, Mr. Nagaraj put up our names under the title of “Health Club” activities on the black board. It was then that we realized that every government school is supposed to conduct Health awareness talks and screenings as part of this new Health Club initiative. This is certainly a good initiative and will make it easier for us to obtain permissions from schools to conduct awareness talks.

As we have noticed in the past as well, with schools in Bangalolre, majority of girls (>80%) were already using Sanitary Napkins, and hence we did not plan for any distribution. The plan was to only give awareness on Menstrual Hygiene. We had no trouble getting started, as the girls were very enthusiastic and bold enough to almost fight for their chance to speak in front of this huge crowd!


Despite their eagerness and seeming knowledge about the subject, they still had a lot of strange beliefs related to Menstruation. Here are some of the interesting ones:

  • A girl attains puberty based on the type of food she consumes. Ex: Eating sweets, til, sour food caused early puberty
  • Sitting with our legs crossed is dangerous and it might have adverse effects on reproductive ability
  • Menstrual blood is bad blood containing all the bad ingredients from our food, and needs to be released from the body to be healthy (At this point, I couldn’t help asking what happens to poor men who end up retaining all these bad ingredients in their body!!)

Overall, the talk went well and the girls were very interactive and responded well to the session. But the most encouraging part was when the teacher spoke to the students in the end. For the first time, I heard a teacher tell the girls a lot more in detail about the biological aspects and about pregnancy (usually we are prevented from saying too much on this topic). She further spoke about sexual abuse and told the girls that come what may, they have to protest if a man attempts to abuse them, regardless of who he might be.

Being glad and quite surprised to hear a government school teacher say this to the girls, we later spoke to her to understand her reason. The teacher explained that some time back, one of the students had been abused by a relative, and that it was a horrid experience in getting that student to speak up against it. The teacher told us how she would constantly be a support to the girl, and got the girl to finally inform her parents and take action. Hats off to that teacher, and that girl!