Anahat Lalana, in Bengali it translates to an unhurt, unbeaten woman. The Lalana Campaign is a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign, conducted by the Anahat NGO under the diligent supervision of the young IAS topper Ms Lakshmi Bhavya Tanneeru. She recognized the need to educate young adolescent girls about the various

aspects of menstruation and reproductive health. During the research and planning process, she realized how important it was to open the conversation to the teachers, mothers and other adults who are in constant touch with the girls and educate young boys as well.

It is a four-pronged campaign carefully constructed by the SDO of Arambagh, Ms. Tanneeru.

 

 

  •  Educating young adolescent girls about menstruation hygiene, nutrition, and overall health through multiple sessions conducted in schools and colleges.

  • Training ASHA and Anganwadi workers so that they can further teach and spread awareness about the same among the adult women of rural areas.

  •  Opening a Lalana Corner in every primary healthcare center and district hospitals in six blocks; where a trained healthcare professional and a senior nurse will always be present to answer any question or query the young women may have at any point in time regarding their menstruation and reproductive health.

  • The Lalana Campaign also talks about sustainable period. The fourth stage of this campaign trains Self Help Groups of the villages and the rural areas in making biodegradable cloth pads.

Anahat has conducted multiple sessions of two-day training programs for ASHA and Anganwadi workers, school teachers and ICDS workers. Anahat volunteers give out a training kit to all the attendees along with a kit of Anahat Unnati cloth pads. The training kit includes several charts regarding various aspect of menstruation health, hygiene, nutrition, a specially designed children’s activity book with information about menstruation, quizzes and drawing sheets, a training manual for the attendees with all the information on menstruation, pre-menstrual syndrome and myths, a snake and ladder game on myths and hygiene during period, a soft toy in the shape of a uterus and activity sheets.

The Anahat Unnati cloth pad kit contains cloth pads in the shape of a regular sanitary napkin, a regular non-biodegradable sanitary napkin. This is to show the young girls and women what they can use during their periods.  So far Anahat has successfully trained 100 ASHA and Anganwadi workers and ICDS workers.

Under the sustainable period program of the Lalana Campaign, Anahat trained 30 SHG workers to make cloth pads. They conducted a three-day session with the workers where several sustainable products were introduced to these women such as cloth pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. Along with training for making Anahat Unnati cloth pads, these women were trained on the packaging, labeling, branding, and pricing of the product as well. Out of all the women present, Hamida Bibi and Deepa Dey did exceptionally well during their training.

As part of the Lalana Campaign Anahat conducted a very successful 2hrs session on reproductive and menstrual health at the Netaji Mahavidyalaya, Arambhagh with 450 young women on 14th August commemorating Kanyashree Day. The SDO of Arambhagh, Ms. Lakshmi Bhavya Tanneeru has a vision of training every ASHA and Anganwadi women under the Lalana initiative. She hopes to destigmatize the female reproductive health issue through the initiative. Many a time the girls and women in rural areas are hesitant to approach a male gynecologist with any queries, the Lalana Corner helps those women with their problems and queries. With this initiative, we are a step closer to eliminate the myths and unhygienic practices surrounding menstruation which in turn will decrease the number of school-drop-outs. Young girls will have a chance to live their life to the fullest without being bogged down by societal stigma or shame.

–          Akansha Bagchi

 

Anahat For Change Foundation

Registered address: 28, Diamond Harbour Road, Behala, Kolkata 700060

Branch Address: 14, Pathak Para Road, Behala, Kolkata- 700060