Students of UC Berkeley in Baneri Village

Empowering Women in Himachal Pradesh: Transforming Menstrual Health in Bharog Baneri Village

Pinkishe Foundation


Nestled within the lush, picturesque landscapes of Himachal Pradesh, Bharog Baneri village harbors a silent struggle that plagues its women and young girls—the scarcity of menstrual health and hygiene resources. In this serene setting, access to sanitary pads has become a luxury of the past, as the provision once offered by the anganwadi has ceased. This abrupt halt in supply has left women and girls without the essential products needed to manage their menstrual cycles.

Adding to the challenges is the absence of accessible healthcare facilities within the village. With no resident doctor, women must endure gynecological issues without nearby medical assistance. The nearest healthcare center is located 35 kilometers away, a daunting distance that daily wage laborers, comprising a significant portion of the village's population, must traverse—often at the cost of a day's earnings.

A Cry for Help: Challenges Faced by Women in Bharog Baneri

In Bharog Baneri, the female population predominates in almost every household, magnifying the urgency to address menstrual health needs. The lack of proper menstrual hygiene practices has resulted in widespread gynecological problems among women. This dire situation underscores the critical need for intervention to empower women and girls with the knowledge and resources essential for managing their menstrual health.

Uniting for Change: Pinkishe and UC Berkeley's Collaborative Initiative

Upon learning of this pressing issue, Pinkishe refused to remain idle. Partnering with UC Berkeley under the Rishi project, Pinkishe launched a transformative initiative to distribute reusable pads to women in need. This collaboration aimed not only to provide menstrual products but also to educate and empower the community.

Pinkishe organized comprehensive Menstrual Health Management (MHM) workshops in Bharog Baneri, engaging community women and adolescent girls in discussions on menstrual health and hygiene. These workshops served as platforms for knowledge-sharing, offering crucial information on menstrual health practices and dispelling myths and misconceptions surrounding menstruation.

Building Sustainable Impact: Educating the Next Generation

Recognizing the importance of sustainable change, Pinkishe extended its efforts beyond product distribution and workshops. The organization initiated a new phase of empowerment by training school teachers from Bharog Baneri to become menstrual educators. These educators are equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to educate schoolgirls on menstrual health and hygiene practices.

Through these collaborative efforts, Pinkishe and UC Berkeley strive to break the cycle of menstrual health challenges in Bharog Baneri, fostering a future where women and girls can embrace their menstrual health with confidence and pride. By empowering the community with knowledge and resources, this initiative aims to create lasting positive change and improve the overall well-being of women and girls in Himachal Pradesh.

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