Students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have come up with a social campaign to raise awareness on menstrual hygiene management to improve women's health and use self-defence techniques against sexual harassment.
To achieve this goal, the institution has partnered with a number of non-governmental organisations.
Called 'UnMute', the campaign is part of Shaastra 2022, the annual technical festival of IIT Madras, and aims to educate women on hygiene practices beneficial for their physical and mental wellbeing. Several programs are being conducted to encourage women to speak up on these issues with a solution-oriented approach.
The students have collaborated with organisations such as Chudar, Go-Hygiene, CRY, Sakhya, and Swayam to conduct events such as pad distribution drive in Bengaluru, an online session on Gender Inequality and Impact on people's lives, and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Awareness sessions for school-going girls in Chennai. These programs are being organised since October.
Nitish Gupta, Co-curricular Affairs Secretary, Shaastra 2022, shared that the team wishes to empower women to live a confident life.
Explaining the idea behind incorporating self-defence training, Gupta said, "We believe that a lot of these incidents can be mitigated by informing women about some basic self-defence techniques along with heling them and, even men, understand how to assess a situation so that they can help people, even if they aren't the ones being assaulted."
He further added that speakers who are invited to be a part of the event have been carefully picked to educate women on the existing disparities in society. Such information can also help them in identifying dangerous situations and employing simple techniques, reported The Indian Express.
MHM Awareness Sessions
For sessions focused on menstrual hygiene management, speakers who are trained on the subject matter will speak to women of the target audience NGO in online/offline mode.
They will speak about the need for menstrual hygiene, how the lack of it can lead to diseases, and teach how to maintain good menstrual hygiene. Sanitary pads would also be distributed to the women at the end.