International Women’s Day: NIT Rourkela team spreads awareness on Menstrual Hygiene in tribal village

Rourkela: On the occasion of International Women’s Day, a team of NIT Rourkela visited a tribal village named Sana Biringhajhar in Bisra block of Sundargarh District. The program was sponsored under GATI (Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions) project and was aimed to create awareness on adopting hygienic practices amongst women.

The event was joined by around 100 villagers comprising women, men, adults, teenagers. Prof. Dipti Patra (Chairman, GATI-NITR) and other NIT Rourkela team members welcomed the attendees. The program started by educating the audience on the proper use and disposal of sanitary pads, followed by free distribution of sanitary pads to encourage usage. The team explained how ignoring menstrual hygiene could endanger their health, curtailing their education and putting their livelihoods at risk.

Group of NIT Rourkela faculty members comprising Prof. Seemita Mohanty, Prof. Suchismita Chinara, Prof. Angana Sarkar, along with Prof. R.K. Biswal of NIT Rourkela, interacted with villagers and explained the sole purpose of the visit i.e., promoting menstrual hygiene and the reason to celebrate women’s day.

The program was organised in collaboration with an NGO named Abhibyakti Research and Development Foundation (ARDF). Dr. Antarjeeta Nayak (Founder Director, ARDF) addressed the gathering and shared home remedies to relieve form pain while menstruating. The session continued by providing essential information to women on the importance and utility of hygiene and a few essential habit formations to use sanitary napkins during periods along with ensuring the safe disposal of sanitary napkins in an environmentally friendly manner.

The NITR team distributed sanitary napkins to men and adult boys to carry for their women in the home and explained a few myths related to it and asked them to help women during their menstruation cycle. The session ended with a local dance performed by villagers, followed by distributing food packets to villagers.

 

About GATI:  Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) is an innovative Pilot launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the aegis of the WISE-KIRAN Division. A total of 30 institutions from India have been selected to promote Gender Equality in the fields of science and technology under GATI pilot project. NIT Rourkela is one among the 8 Institutes of National Importance that has been chosen after a rigorous evaluation process. Project GATI aims to nudge institutions of higher education and research towards supporting diversity, inclusion and the full spectrum of demographic talent for their own success and progression. It aims to bring institutional reforms to promote women into scientific laboratories and aspires to create an enabling environment for equal participation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics disciplines (STEMM) at all levels, addressing deep-rooted problems.

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