Mangaluru, June 23, 2018: Speaking during a workshop on the ‘Swaccha Gelathi’ campaign, meant for adolescent girls on menstrual hygiene and proper waste management, conducted by the Zilla Panchayat and the Departments of Health, Education and Women and Children Welfare, as a part of the Swacch Bharat Mission, at the Zilla Panchayat auditorium in Mangaluru on June 22, Friday; Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Dr M R Ravi said that there are around three lakh women in the district who use sanitary pads for menstrual hygiene. Unfortunately, 38% of used pads are unscientifically disposed.
Continuing further Dr Ravi said that our waste should be our responsibility. “Attitude towards the disposal of waste such as sanitary napkins needs to be changed. Around four lakh women in Dakshina Kannada menstruate every month. Around 60% of the women use commercial sanitary pads and the rest use cloth pads. However, the used pads are not getting disposed scientifically. About 18% of the users flush used sanitary pads in toilets and 20% mix up the used pads with normal waste. Both these methods are totally objectionable. The used pads should be burnt or buried. The usage of eco-friendly sanitary pads is highly recommended,” he advised.
Incinerators to burn provided : The government has provided incinerators, for proper burning the used pads at girls’ hostels and government schools he said. Opining that there is a need to shun the conservative mentality and speak out on the issues of menstruation health, Dr Ravi said that menstrual health has to do with the dignity of women.
“As a part of the ‘Swaccha Gelathi’ campaign, 1,604 teams of volunteers have been formed to create awareness among adolescent girls in government, aided and non-aided schools in the district. The teams, comprising NSS members, will visit the schools starting July and will counsel the students,” he added.
Trauma and support : Zilla Panchayat president Meenakshi Shantigodu said that the adolescent girls undergo mental trauma during the phase of menstruation. Proper counselling should be provided to them to prevent them from going into depression. The taboo in the society regarding menstruation should be done away with, she said.
Zilla Panchayat member Anitha Shetty released a booklet published by the Zilla Panchayat. She called upon the parents to provide psychological support to girls during the phase of adolescence, along with sensitising them on the correct usage and disposal of sanitary pads.
Contests : Prizes were distributed to those who won the competitions of creating cleanliness slogans and ‘Swacchata Geethe’, the song on cleanliness.
School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya, Professor Ramila Shekhar and Dr Poornima Bhat conducted sessions on the related subject.
ZP members Mamatha Gatty, Manjula Mave and Shahul Hamid and Zilla Panchayat Deputy Secretary In-charge M V Nayak were present on the occasion.