All the way from UK, to make Telugu girls healthy
Empowering women has become the major criteria and it all starts with the girl child education and also...
Empowering women has become the major criteria and it all starts with the girl child education and also helping them understand the importance of health and hygiene, which could show a path towards a bright future.
'The Bureau- Community Wellbeing' an organization from United Kingdom has taken up an initiative to empower women and make their life a healthy and hygienic one. Chariotte Leonhardsen and Russell Gard have put a step forward by educating women and girls in rural parts of two Telugu States with the help of a Hyderbad-based NGO.
Giving out details about the works they do the duo elaborated, "We work with people who have got mental health problems and struggle to look after themselves. We support and help them with the help of our volunteers. We work a lot with the health organisations in the UK and manage to help people who come to us."
Contributing to the society is something that comes from within and so empowering women in the rural areas has definitely inspired. They explain why, "Both of us have got young daughters and they are very confident young women, we feel that they are very lucky as they have got every opportunity that they have.
That is when we thought about girls who cannot go to school during their periods. In the UK even men support women and get sanitary napkins for women which is normal. A natural thing should not hold a women back and so signs like this inspired us to move forward with this work. We do have certain groups in the UK who do not support women in these matters but in India we see it happening more."
As they went along working with various organisations, they also gathered experience and learnt from it. "We were involved in charity work through different organisations and this really opened our eyes. We researched what can be done and where. We discussed a lot and then we got in touch with Rose Foundation to help the girls in rural areas know about menstrual hygiene."
"We are working on educating girls and help them make cloth pads that are good for the environment and also help in maintaining health condition during the menstrual cycle."
About their experience visiting the girls and women in the rural areas they said, "We spoke to the girls and teachers in the ZPH School. We did a presentation about hygiene, they were absolutely wonderful and responsive."
Mentioning about the manufacture of the special cloth cotton pads, an environmental friendly concept, the duo said, "They are made of cotton fabric, we can reuse fabric and so we cut pieces and then we also get an absorbent towel and club them together. It is hygienic and does not affect a girl's fertility."
The use of cloth pads has been there in India since decades and so talking more about what has made their pads new they share, "The pads that people use now are good for the commercial side. So, if we reinvent something that was a tradition and is good for some reasons then why not? It stops the waste in the environment and it is good to look in all the aspects of health."
Washing these cloth pads in a good way is the only solution to maintain the hygiene levels of the cloth pads. Apart from maintaining the health and hygiene conditions of women and girls they are also sponsoring scholarship for girls who want to move forward in their career.
Regarding the challenges they have faced initially they stressed upon it and said, "It is all about getting people, we started speaking about it. The problem was to maintain the professional life and balance time for this activity.
Another problem was that they were a lot of negative people who said why are you doing this? But we still had positive people helping us. And so many women have been a part of this camping."
Breaking the stereotypical mindset of parents who are not welling to educate their girls they say, "We need to educate the positive side of girl power to the parents." Bringing the fabric from UK and also getting few pads that were already made by people working with their orgainsation, they are training women here with the skill to stich these pads.
"We have connected ourselves with the members of the school and so girls will get these pads that are stitched. We will also help them to learn how to make these pads and sell them in remote villages."