Menstrual hygiene campaign benefits girl students in MangalsenIn the last fiscal year, the municipality started allocating budget to each community school to distribute sanitary pads to girl students.
Aayushma Subedi of Mangalsen Municipality-5 in Achham used to miss her school when she was menstruating. But ever since her school started providing sanitary pads to its girl students, the 14-year-old has been a regular attendant.
“I did not like to go to school when I was having my period. My studies had also been affected due to my irregular school attendance,” said Subedi. “But now I go to school even when I am menstruating since the school has started distributing sanitary pads.”
In the last fiscal year, Mangalsen Municipality started allocating budget to each community school to manage sanitary pads for girl students. There are a total of 10 secondary schools in Mangalsen Municipality.
The pad distribution programme has benefitted many girl students in the local unit, according to Subedi. “The girls in my school never talked about menstruation earlier but now they discuss the topic openly,” said Subedi, an eight grader at Shodasha Secondary School in Mangalsen-5.
Kalpana Thapa, an eighth grader at Kunti Secondary School in Mangalsen-1, also expressed similar sentiments.
“We are very happy with the pad distribution scheme. Madams in our school provide us with a pad whenever we need it so we are greatly relieved now,” said Thapa.
Along with the easy availability of sanitary pads, the local unit has formed child clubs in all community schools to educate its girl students about menstrual cycle, sanitation during menstruation and their reproductive health.
Thapa said the girls were also made aware about social evils like Chhaupadi, a practice of banishing girls and women to period huts, through the child club.
Tulasi Nath, a teacher at Sodasa Secondary School in Mangalsen, said that girl students from grade six to 10 were most likely to miss their classes during their periods in the past.
“But now, the problem has been solved since girl students can easily avail of sanitary pads in the school. We are also teaching girls how to use sanitary pads and proper period hygiene,” he said.
The school management informed that the campaign launched by the municipality has been a great success.
Deputy Mayor of Mangalsen Municipality Sarita Upadhyay is of the opinion that girl students feel much safer and comfortable in their schools since the introduction of the campaign.
“The municipality has also been making sure that each girl receives sanitary pads in their schools,” she said. “There are some issues with toilets, water supply and management of used sanitary pads in some schools. The municipality has been taking initiatives to resolve such problems.”