Creating a period-friendly environment in the tribal pre-dominant Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh
Jhabua is a tribal-predominant and hard-to-reach terrain district situated on the western border of Madhya Pradesh state. It faces a tremendous challenge to achieve a safe menstrual environment. This is apparent from the fact that NFHS-5 puts the adoption of safe menstrual products by the woman in the age bracket of 15-24 years at merely 50.3% contributing to the period-poverty situation. To mitigate the situation, the district administration launched Mission Mahima on 28th May 2022 to commemorate World Menstrual Hygiene Management Day. This day was witnessed by 320 women from Self-help group (SHG) members, adolescent girls, and NSS volunteers with an aspiration to create a first “period-friendly district” in the state. The programme aims to benefit 5.5 lakh tribal women and adolescent girls of the district that focuses on inter-sectoral convergent actions to strengthen the menstrual hygiene management service delivery chain.
The district developed a menstrual hygiene management (MHM) action plan with a roadmap to strengthen the accessibility of safe menstrual products and women-friendly WASH infrastructures, capacity building, and behaviour change communication centred around setting new transformative menstrual norms and streamlining disposal facilities. The district administration has created a cadre of 72 master trainers who are building the capacity of 8000 front-line workers (FLWs) from seven key departments in a cascaded and phased manner. These FLWs include 2023 adolescent girls and boys (Saathiya) engaged under Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) who will outreach to 45000 adolescent girls and boys from the Saathiya brigade, 1013 ASHAs, 1000 CLF members and CRPs from the Ajeevika mission, 1000 teachers, 350 Swachhagrahis and others.
The administration is assessing the gaps in institutional settings such as government offices, schools, and tribal hostels for adolescent girls and augmenting sanitation facilities phase-wise to Period friendly toilets in all institutional settings (government offices, Schools. Hostels, and Healthcare facilities). The district has installed a sanitary production centre with a State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) unit run by women’s SHG to improve the accessibility of safe menstrual products by chipping in Udita Corners installed in Anganwadi Centres along with a plan to install another centre to create additional capacity. The district under the leadership of the district collector has constituted a platform to bring allied departments, non-government agencies, and CSR partners on board with an objective to leverage expertise and mobilize resources. Resources to the tune of six lakh rupees have been mobilized from CSR due to this platform and efforts. In the first phase, 30 villages with high populations have integrated the provision of incinerators and conveyance facilities for bio-medical wastes with waste collection vehicles under SBM(G) in the village action plans to streamline the menstrual waste disposal mechanism.
Convergent programmes – Rashtriya Kishori Swasthy Karykram (RKSK), Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen and Urban), Ajeevika Mission
Convergent departments- Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, NHM-Health, Education, Tribal welfare, State Rural Livelihood Mission, Women and child development, Urban administration
Sector partner – Uninhibited, FPA India, UNICEF
CSR Partners- LIC Housing Finance