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School teacher turns ‘pad woman’ in UP district

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In Soraon town in Prayagraj district, she is now referred to as ‘pad woman’ and woman and girls look forward to her visit.

Vandana Singh, an English lecturer at an inter college, carries along sanitary pads and distributes them among women and girls in the rural areas.

She gives away 500 to 1,000 pads once in a week now. She has distributed over 1.25 lakh sanitary pads till now and aims to touch the 5 lakh mark.

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Vandana, who lost a relative four years ago, due to lack of menstrual hygiene, now spends about 10 per cent of her salary every month in purchasing sanitary pads.

She said, “Lack of proper sanitation during the menstrual cycle can lead to serious problems.

When I started distributing sanitary pads among rural women, people used to crack jokes on me.

I continued to inform rural women about menstrual hygiene and kept giving them sanitary pads for free.”

Vandana admitted that women and girls in rural areas are still not aware about menstrual hygiene and we need to spread awareness on the issue.

“When I started counselling women, some people even passed lewd comments and said that being a woman, she talks like this.

But I did not lose courage and continued my work and gradually succeeded in my efforts,” she added.

She has also bought five sewing machines to train women in making sanitary pads and plans to expand the initiative further.



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