With an aim to strengthen women’s health in rural areas, Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) has conceptualized and implemented the Menstrual Hygiene Management Programme across 7 locations. To facilitate this programme, ACF has partnered with Häfele, the Global Interior Fittings Specialist from Germany, and together they will extend support to these rural locations through the installation of Sanitary Napkin Making/Dispensing Machines together with educative initiatives to spread knowledge about menstrual hygiene and breaking the many myths and stigmas around it.
In rural areas, menstrual hygiene management and anemia have a huge impact on the overall development of girls. Sharing her views on the issue, Ms. Pearl Tiwari, Director & CEO, Ambuja Cement Foundation said, “Menstrual hygiene is a matter of public health. The main challenge is to address the shame, taboos, and several myths attached to periods and menstrual hygiene. We need to work dedicatedly by identifying gaps and creating awareness to bring effective behavior change in not just women but in the whole society. Male members of the community also have a crucial role to play here, thus, increasing knowledge and awareness for male members is also a part of this MHM program.”
Talking about Häfele’s contribution to this initiative, Ms. Padma Gupta, Director – Human Resources & Customer Experience, South Asia said, “We believe in creating partnerships that make a difference to society. We are really happy to be associated with this public health cause and I am hopeful that our collaboration with Ambuja Cement Foundation will take their menstrual hygiene management program to the next level, by imparting sanitation education and support among young girls and women in rural areas.”
The purpose of the activity is to strengthen women and adolescent groups with building capacities and sustained support towards improving four pillars of menstrual hygiene management:
- Access to knowledge and information
- Access to menstrual absorbents
- WASH structures and maintenance
- Access to safe disposal
ACF will facilitate biodegradable sanitary napkin making machines which will be installed through rural women federations where maintenance and output will also be monitored. Sanitary napkins will be manufactured by village SHGs under ACF’s income generation and livelihood project. Vending machines and incinerators will be installed in the schools and common points for easy access at various locations.