New Delhi, August 29, 2019: Humanify Foundation, one of the leading NGO in the country, has launched a unique national campaign “Paavni” through their first ‘Paavni’ workshop held at Shahbad dairy, Rohini, New Delhi recently. Around 200 female and 50 males attended the workshop wherein know-how on how to handle menstruation & personal hygiene while periods, etc. has been shared through interactive and engaging training methods to empower women & other segments of society.

During this unique workshop, Niraj Gera (a Social Reformer and President of Humanify Foundation), who is an international award winning photographer and whose photo series on issues like acid attack survivors and menstruation had created a buzz in international media, initiated a constructive discussion held with the females living in slum areas. Through his powerful photo series on Menstruation ‘Sacred Stains’, he talked about healthy menstrual hygiene practice, stigmatization of periods and elimination of myths associated with menstruation. He also conducted a separate session for their male counterparts (who are usually the decision makers & bread earners in Indian patriarchal society) to motivate them to become more sensitive towards their wife, daughters, mothers etc, and encourage those women to take a decision to use hygienic sanitary pads.

Thereafter, sanitary pads were distributed by members & volunteers of Humanify, alongside a session conducted by this team on gender sensitisation (equality of opportunity) and need of proper sanitation & toilet facilities for all. This is an initiative of Humanify Foundation towards the upliftment scheme of rural sanitation under Govt.’s unique Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan & United Nation’s WASH (Water, Sanitation & hygiene for all) project, which is bringing huge behavioural change amongst people regarding healthy sanitation practice.

During the occasion, Niraj Gera said “A woman’s menstrual health is crucial to her well-being, and also to the well-being of her family and community, but too often — especially in the developing world — mind-sets, customs and institutional biases prevent women from getting the menstrual health care they need to thrive. Menstrual hygiene continues to be amongst one of the most challenging development issues today. We are aiming to meet our objective through integrated awareness, motivation & meditation programs which will be conducted in multiple locations during our pan India social drive.”

Project ‘Paavni’ is a unique campaign aimed to enabling women in the society to become change agents. It is high time men should start utter the word ‘period’ without a snigger.

Often, insensitivity or lack of awareness about menstruation made women nervous and embarrassed about their monthly cycles, leading to low self-esteem and shame and this also affect their health too.

Niraj is simultaneously working on an online petition filed by him on CHANGE.ORG (http://chng.it/VCCpJCYP), requesting honourable PM Narendra Modi & Indian Govt. to provide free sanitary pads to women living below poverty line. His petition has received an overwhelming response with more than 2 Lac 25 Thousands supporters signing this petition. Humanify Foundation has received an invitation from honourable Dr. Harshwardhan, Union Health Minister to discuss this petition and feasibility to implement it nationwide.

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