Activists urge better menstrual hygiene awareness and infrastructure in Bengaluru schools

Agatha Shekar, training officer, Suniti Solomon Foundation, often conducts sessions with students about menstrual hygiene and creates awareness about periods.
Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes. (Photo | Twitter)

BENGALURU: On World Menstrual Hygiene Day on Tuesday, activists spoke to girl students in government schools on the outskirts of Bengaluru and found that taboo and myths around menstruation still persist.

This academic year (2024-25), the activists want the government to improve awareness programmes and prevent adolescent girls from dropping out of school. They also sought upgrading the existing toilet infrastructure and ensure that water and dustbins are available at all levels.

Agatha Shekar, training officer, Suniti Solomon Foundation, often conducts sessions with students about menstrual hygiene and creates awareness about periods. She said, “Even today, we see girls are shy about the subject and don’t want to talk about it. There are several misconceptions and stigmas in society. When we take sessions with girls, we find that their families and communities are still following the age-old traditions and restrictions, leaving them in isolation. Adolescent girls are unsure whether their blood is ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ and often fail to follow hygiene practices.”

Recalling an incident in government schools, another activist, Anitha Rao, said schools lack period-friendly infrastructure and toilets don’t even have latches to close doors for changing pads. These practices and social stigma force young girls to drop out of school and leave their education midway.

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