A glaring statistic shows 200 million girls lack awareness of menstrual hygiene and associated healthcare practices in India and 66% of Indian girls know nothing about menstruation before its onset. Another rising problem is sanitary waste disposal. An estimated 150 kg of sanitary waste is generated by a woman in her menstruating years.
With this in mind, the Art of Living initiated Project Pavitra to provide a two-fold solution to menstrual problems in India:
- Generating awareness amongst adolescent girls about menstrual health and hygiene via workshops in rural areas and urban slums.
- Distribution of eco-friendly sanitary pads for women
Project Pavitra – a national programme for enhancing adolescent girl’s menstrual health and hygiene.
The vision of the programme is to empower girls with knowledge and awareness on menstrual hygiene to manage their mensuration in a hygienic way in privacy, safety and with dignity at home, at school and in the community.
The workshops provide information on how to handle menstruation, improve girls’ knowledge of personal hygiene and boost their confidence by answering their unanswered questions. It also provides information on the facts, myths, and taboos surrounding this issue. Girls are also taught yoga asanas and breathing exercises (pranayama) that relieve menstrual discomfort.
320 dynamic female youth leaders or Yuvacharyas and volunteers of the Art of Living have been trained to spread awareness on menstrual health and hygiene amongst adolescent girls across 25 states of India. The vision is to create 1500 trainers in the next three months to reach out to 5 lac girls this year.
Project Pavitra is planning to scale up efforts in training women on manufacturing and distributing eco-friendly sanitary napkins and thereby empower them through providing employment. Over 1000 sanitary pads have already been dispatched to this day.