Traditionally, the girls from the rural districts used clothe strips as sanitary means during their menstruation period, as it is not standard to use modern sanitary paper pads – due to lack of money. To improve hygiene in this respect, instruction lessons in hygiene were given for teenage-girls at a high school with assistance from Chettinad Hospital. Although, the girls were shy and giggling due to this very sensitive issue, the information was received with openness and gratitude.
At the same time, a useful contact was established to an institution by the name of “Sanitary Napkin Production Unit” - an institution established through a program under the “Tsunami-support”, sheltering about 20 single mothers who produce sanitary pads at a price that is very low even according to Indian standards. The first packets of sanitary pads for 250 girls were bought from the institution, and small bins for the lavatories were purchased. The price of these pads is set so low that the teenage girls can afford buying them themselves in the future.
The girls received help, and we were at the same time able to support this local institution, helping single mothers. This linking of the institution to the high school is a good example of the potential for empowering models in India according to the philosophy and aim of “Schools in India”.