Dedicated for Spreading Awareness on Menstrual Hygiene: Meet Mrs Rajrani Sharma
Rajrani Sharma not only taught the importance of sanitary pads but also made them available to girls. She provided free sanitary pads to girls and educated them on the proper way to use them and dispose of them.
The commonplace of the Lupur Baxar was filled with students, mostly girls. People were standing around, mumbling. There was great enthusiasm and wait in people’s eyes. Mrs. Rajrani Sharma stepped into the area and everyone’s eyes turned to her, beholding her.
This is a common sight when she is visiting villages and schools near Meerut, with charts and diagrams in her hand to teach people about menstruation. It is then that she comes face-to-face with taboos and stereotypes.
Commitment for change
Mrs. Rajrani Sharma serves as a teacher in a Government school
, in Meerut. Teaching is a typical profession for women in India. But she decided to make extraordinary efforts when she first encountered a particular issue. When she started serving in 2006, she realised that girls after class 5th do not attend school. Diving deep into the situation, Mrs. Sharma decides to take a survey to unearth the reasons behind this. She went to children’s homes and realised that after the 5th class, girls started to have periods. Because of strong beliefs in taboos, they feared going to their school and thus dropped out. This was the trigger point that changed her vision. But it was a long journey. Rome wasn’t built in one day.
When she understood the core of the situation she took the matter into her hands. It was an arduous job to break stereotypes in India. The situation was grimmer in villages, especially in Uttar Pradesh. She had to help people be at ease on the topic, which they were even ashamed to talk about initially. It was to clear their brains filled with misinformation that had become a concrete belief system. She needed to gather all at one common ground of communication. Girls were so shy they couldn’t even talk about periods even with their mothers.
She started to talk to parents and students. She initiated communication with girls and parents to make them believe that there was no disrespect in this. The real meaning
s of restrictions had been defeated and have become taboos. She put the audience at ease when talking about periods. She prepared charts and diagrams to make people understand the whole process. She established that this process was the basis of human birth. People understood the science behind it. With time, girls themselves spoke on the stage. With persistent efforts and hard work, people were comfortable dealing with the issue, and thus the girls came back to school.
Taking a further step
Mrs. Sharma joined Pinkishe foundation in 2016. Being part of a team further accelerated her efforts. She now started to distribute free pads for girls. During her interactions, she found that the girls did not have accessibility to, and education about, sanitary pads. She not only taught the importance of sanitary pads but also made them available to girls. She provided free sanitary pads to girls and educated them on the proper way to use them and dispose of them. She made special efforts on proper disposal. Girl disposed of their used pads in the open dump but she imparted special training for their proper disposal. Till now she has organized 600 camps and has distributed a whopping 1,50,000 sanitary pads for free!
The COVID 19 situation posed a major problem with delivering the pads. Mrs. Sharma then realized that the women travelling long distances were finding it hard to obtain pads. With the help of the women police of UP, she extended the hand of help to such women and provided as much help as she could.
Men in her mission
Menstruation and men don’t usually go hand in hand. But Mrs. Sharma found support at every step of her journey. The first is family support. Her husband supports her in every way and encourages her to follow her heart and work for humanity. She is a working woman and with the help of her husband she can serve humanity. When she visits the camps, men often request her for sanitary pads for their daughters. Many boys in her camp help to distribute pads to girls. This is the change everyone aspires to in the modern world. Her efforts made men understand and respect women. Charity begins at home. So she makes her son understand periods and how to respect them.
Today she is leading continuous efforts to work for humanity. Now people at times take her for a doctor. And why not, she has found the medicine of this root cause. She spends most of her weekends at the services and inspires to break the taboo of menstruation throughout the country.
Sarkari School salutes Mrs. Rajrani Sharma for her services to humanity and inspiring and changing a lot of lives.
All the stories are originally designed by team Sarkari School. Strict action will be taken against plagiarism.