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Project “Sakhi-a ray of hope” launched in Dibrugarh

Avik Chakraborty

With an aim to foster better and scientific menstrual hygiene management for girl students, the Dibrugarh Chapter of Project ‘Sakhi: A ray of hope’ has been launched in a function held at Dibrugarh Govt Girls’ Higher Secondary and Multi Purpose School on May 28, 2019 in presence of Dibrugarh Deputy Commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha and Executive Director, ONGC, Assam Asset, S D Maske.

The project envisages to deal with this issue of drop out and absenteeism prevalent amongst adolescent girls in a systematic and self sustaining manner and as part of the project 23 Government Girls schools will be provided sanitary napkin vending machine and incinerator which will benefit 6232 girl students. The project would also ensure the formation of WASH groups in all these schools with a nodal teacher for disseminating good habits of safe and hygienic disposal practices, removal of taboo and other sanitation issues.

Attending the program, Dibrugarh Deputy Commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha said that periodic absenteeism owing to menstrual cycle and drop out from schools after attaining puberty has always been a subject of concern at the individual as well as societal level in the hinterland of rural India. In order to address this issue, the district administration has embarked on a mission in consonance with Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin’s objectives by initiating the Dibrugarh chapter of the menstrual hygiene management programme, named ‘Sakhi: A ray of hope’.

He also stated that an estimated 23 million girl students in India drop out of school when they reach puberty due to lack of knowledge on proper menstrual hygiene practices. This endeavor by improving accessibility and affordability and providing a scientific disposal mechanism is in turn expected to minimize drop out rates among girl students. He also stated that a project management committee has been formed to monitor the progress of the project.

The project has been conceptualised and implemented by District Administration, Dibrugarh and funded by ONGCL, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility activity.

Appreciating ONGC for coming forward with the idea the Deputy Commissioner said that the district administration aims to work with ONGC, UNICEF and other stakeholders to reach out to a large number of girl children creating more awareness on menstrual hygiene.

As part of the launch, Executive Director, ONGC, Assam Asset, S D Maske inaugurated the sanitary napkin vending machine at Dibrugarh Govt Girls’ HS & MP School.

The inaugural function was organised by Dibrugarh district administration in collaboration with UNICEF was also attended by Additional deputy commissioner Partha Pratim Bairagi, Divisional Consultant, WASH, UNICEF, Swetangana Bhuyan , GM, ONGC, Sanjoy Goel, Principal , Govt Girls’ H S & MP School , Gitashree Choudhury and other dignitaries .

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