Women in India have always faced discrimination in many spheres of their lives, health being the prominent one. Smile Foundation in support with Proctor & Gamble has initiated Parivartan, a programme that aims at ensuring improved health seeking behavior for women with focus on reproductive health and menstrual hygiene through training and other information, education and communication (IEC) tools. At present the programme is implemented in 4 districts of Rajasthan. The programme is being implemented in collaboration with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
The Project was started keeping in view of the rampant unhygienic practices among rural women. The primary goal of the project is to improve the health status of women in twelve blocks of 4 districts namely Jaipur, Tonk, Sikar and Dausa.
The key activities of the project include
Developing hygienic practices in rural women
Strengthening and capacity building of ASHA Sahayoginis, the community volunteers for developing health and hygiene practices in the women and promote the use of sanitary napkins
Organizing group meetings of adolescent girls and promote the usage of sanitary napkins for better hygiene during menstrual periods
Building awareness regarding RTIs/STIs
Facilitate the availability of sanitary napkins at the doorsteps to inculcate a habit among the women and adolescent girls of using sanitary napkins
Improving the female health status of the project area
Within a very short period the project has been able to develop hygiene practices among 30% of the women in the project area. There are over 1800 community volunteers working and according to the medical officers of the community health centre and the public health centre of the area the rate of RTIs/STIs has decreased substantially.