Impact Story of Suraj Kuwar

Not many topics are spoken about or discussed openly, few deserve a silent nod or are discussed in a hushed up tone. One such topic is menstruation as social taboos reinforce the idea that menstruating women and girls are unclean; mentions Suraj Kuwar, an illiterate Rajput woman who was approached during one of the medical camps organized by JJVS.  Suraj Kuwar was suffering from leucorrhoea and was attending the health camp for treatment.

Suraj recalls her mother and grandmother had briefed her about menstruation and the traditions to be followed. No one shared about the physiology of menstruation as a result of which a feeling of disgust and ignorance remained with her. She came to know about the physiology of menstruation in one of the education camps organized by JJVS.

Women in Vali panchayat use any unused cotton cloth as menstrual absorbent. Due to poor menstrual hygiene management infections of lower reproductive tract is very common amongst women. Extremely low decision making ability, no negotiation power for prioritizing her own health and additional financial burden of using sanitary napkins has kept the women folk away from using disposable sanitary napkins( despite repeated advertisements on audio-visual and print media).

It is difficult to expect the society to change their mind-sets on this issue, however a start has to be made and that should start from our own household. With the help of her brother-in law who has been associated with JJVS for many years, Suraj has been able to negate few of the practices associated with menstruation. She doesn’t stay secluded from family, enters kitchen and cooks food. She ensures reproductive health for herself and her daughter-in law by ensuring access to safe sanitation at home and provision of disposable sanitary napkins.