Marikkannu’s Story: life-changing health knowledge
Mar 5, 2018
Thanks to awareness-raising sessions that reached out to rural communities, Marikkannu and her teenage daughters were able to learn about life-changing menstrual health, and of the benefits of using sanitary napkins.
“I have two adolescent daughters. My normal practice was to use old cloths during menstruation. However, it impacted my health and my ability to work. I have now switched to the sanitary napkin. I have none of the irritation I previously did, and I can get on with my day.
“The social enterprise visited our village, with many questions answered and solutions provided. Sanitary napkins protect women from common health issues. I have told my daughters that they must use these napkins, I inform other women too.”
Marikkannu was one of the women who benefitted from the awareness-raising sessions of the social enterprise set up by our recently completed project in India, with our local partner SACEWD. Thanks to the knowledge she has gained, she is now able to make more informed, potentially life-saving decisions for herself and her daughters.
In Tamil Nadu, India, some 73% of girls in poor rural areas don’t know about things like family planning and reproductive tract infections. Inadequate sanitary products and poor knowledge often stop them attending school or doing agricultural work during their periods.
Our project delivered an economic empowerment and health education project for women in Pudukkottai district. After receiving business and vocational skills training, 30 women (including 20 Dalit women) built a new livelihood through a social enterprise producing sanitary pads and raising awareness of reproductive health. Their awareness-raising sessions reached over 10,000 adolescent girls and women.
They sold 141,450 pads in the first nine months alone, providing an affordable, sanitary solution for thousands of rural women.