The girls in Jonha village recently got a visit from Aanganwadi workers, who distributed sanitary pads to them. A few days ago SheThePeople.TV had spoken to Arti, a 23-year-old resident from Jonha village in Jharkhand, that is 35 kilometers from the city of Ranchi. Arti had informed us that since all grocery stores in the village were closed due to lockdown, menstruating women and girls of the village had to use scraps from petticoats, leaves and rice husk during their periods as absorbents. (Read full story here)

I am sure this will give more confidence to Arti and many other tribal girls to stand up for each other and keep raising their voice – Rashmi Tiwari, who works with tribal girls to empower them

Also Read: Ration Is Patriarchal Too: Jharkhand Girls Using Leaves For Periods Under Lockdown

Jharkhan women periods
Women and girls are using old clothes to make makeshift pads.

While grocery was being supplied to the village residents under the lockdown, “no one thought about sanitary napkins, that every woman needs on a monthly basis,” said Arti. The nearest hospital is eight kilometers from the village, so if any health issue arose for these women and girls due to the use of unhygienic methods to contain period bleeding, it could put their well-being at grave risk.

Also Read: Shocker: Bhuj College Girls told not to use beds, eat at dining room during periods

Rashmi Tiwari of Ahaan Foundation told SheThePeople, “This is a welcome move by the Government. It further strengthens Aahan Foundation’s resolve to work closely with the government and support its welfare schemes by bringing up important issues faced by tribal girls of Jharkhand.”

Arti has collected pads from schoolgirls who are done with their periods for the month and distributed them among those who are in need of them right now.

She further said that Arti has been relentlessly raising the issue of lack of sanitary supplies amidst the lockdown, despite it being included in the list of essential supplies, and finally her determination paid off. This morning workers from Aanganwadi arrived in the village to distribute pads among school girls. ” I am sure this will give more confidence to Arti and many other tribal girls to stand up for each other and keep raising their voice,” added Tiwari.

While being a breakthrough, it still leaves women and girls of Jonha in a very uncertain state as no one knows how long this lockdown will last. To tackle this, Arti has collected pads from schoolgirls who are done with their periods for the month and distributed them among those who are in need of them right now. The remaining stock will be stored for the coming days. At the same time, Tiwari informs us that more aid is on the way for women of Jonha and many others in rural Jharkhand.

We hope that help arrives for these women before they have to go back to using husk or leaves again.

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