Ujaas Launches ‘Menstrual Health Express’ to Break Taboos

Ujaas has partnered with local NGOs to drive awareness and gain insights into the varied cultures, practices, and beliefs surrounding menstruation and menstrual health and hygiene in different states of India…reports Asian Lite News

Ujaas, an initiative by Aditya Birla Education Trust, has taken a monumental stride towards driving menstrual taboos and fostering nationwide awareness for menstrual health and hygiene management.

Today marks the unveiling of the ‘Ujaas Menstrual Health Express,’ a pioneering initiative led by Advaitesha Birla, Founder of Ujaas.

This ground-breaking initiative is the first of its kind in India, designed to traverse the length and breadth of the country, covering diverse regions and communities. A Menstrual Health Express Van a part of this initiative will cover 25 states and 106 cities, over 10000+ kilometres.  In a strategic move, Ujaas has partnered with local NGOs to drive awareness and gain insights into the varied cultures, practices, and beliefs surrounding menstruation and menstrual health and hygiene in different states of India. 

The initiative goes beyond mere awareness efforts, incorporating the distribution of free sanitary napkins, thereby transforming it into a comprehensive and impactful endeavour. Notably, a significant portion of these distributed napkins will be manufactured by Ujaas itself, in collaboration with Self-Help Groups. Through this collaboration, more than 25 women have received specialized training for sustainable cloth Napkin production, not only contributing to the campaign’s objectives but also enhancing their livelihoods. In total, over 250,000 pads will be distributed as part of this campaign, reflecting Ujaas’ commitment to addressing menstrual health challenges, empowering women, and making a substantial positive impact within communities nationwide.

Commenting on the launch Advaitesha Birla, Founder, Ujaas expressed her dedication to women’s empowerment and menstrual health education. “The Ujaas Menstrual Health Express reflects our steadfast dedication to empowering women and girls through education on menstrual health. Our goal is to extend our reach nationwide, ensuring widespread awareness and delivering accurate knowledge to enable girls to lead healthy and dignified lives. The Menstrual Health Express will build capacity of implementing partners including ASHA and Anganwadi workers and also gain insights on various menstrual health practices across India, while ensuring access to safe menstrual health products. Every year, over 23 million girls in India stop attending school because of their periods. Menstruation is a significant public health issue that causes enormous struggles, including discrimination and limited access to essential resources. Our primary objective is to elevate discussions and initiatives at the grassroots level, laying the foundation for a more inclusive and empowered future for women.”

Adding further to the launch Dr Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson Aditya Birla Education Trust, extended her wholehearted support to the Ujaas Menstrual Health Express initiative, emphasizing the critical need for such endeavours at the national level. “Many girls are unaware of periods before their first menstruation cycle due to taboos and sociocultural restrictions, leading to potential health issues. The foremost strategy in dispelling myths is raising awareness among adolescent girls about menstrual health and hygiene. I am proud of Advaitesha for taking up this cause and driving it nationally. We hope to support as many girls as possible to lead a dignified and independent life during menstruation. Initiatives like these bring the conversation to local communities, engaging girls, women, and men, breaking the silence surrounding menstruation and fostering a healthier, more informed society.”

Ujaas, driven by the Aditya Birla Education Trust’s steadfast commitment to social development, has long been a beacon of progress in menstrual health and hygiene management.

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