We are over half way through our Educate. Empower. Lead, campaign in partnership with Malala Fund and have already delivered 20 workshops with our own beneficiaries. As well as promoting girls’ education, women and child rights and laws and gender equality through these workshops and presentations we are also striving to give girls practical life skills and experiences that will help empower them. With this in mind we have been delivering a range of additional activities and events.
Thank you to Ahmednagar Mid-Town Rotary Club for arranging for 130 girls from our Rehab Center and Balbhavan to watch Pad Man at our local cinema. The film is a fictionalized account of Arunachalam Muruganatham, the man who revolutionized the manufacture of low cost sanitary napkins in India. With menstrual health and hygiene still a huge issue, particularly in rural India, we wanted the film to help breakdown some of the taboos around it. With that in mind we also invited our own Radio Nagar community station to cover the event to feature in a similarly-themed program.
The rotary club members were magnificent hosts, organising snacks and for two gynaecologists to offer advice and host a question and answer session with the girls during the interval. Following the film, we returned to our Rehab Center where our own Smiile project uses the technology we had just seen in the film. All of the girls from our Balbhavan were given a demonstration of the equipment before having a go at making their own pads to take home with them.
Our Smiile project produces regular and maternity sanitary pads for around Rs 3 each. These are provided to our own beneficiaries and we sell the surplus to local maternity hospitals and shops, giving our beneficiaries who manufacture them a small income.