Humjoli foundation is the brainchild of most talented Author, Blogger, certified Health & Wellness Coach, mother and above all a responsible citizen Dr. Sania Siddiqui whose main aim to work towards creating awareness on menstrual health and hygiene especially among low-income group women and young girls.
I know Sania, for more than 2 years now and following her work. She is one of those humble people who never step back when it comes to helping anybody. Humjoli foundation is a nonprofit organization, with their tag-line “Periods – Sharm Nahi, Shamta Hai” screams aloud it’s existence.
About Humjoli foundation
Curious to know more this foundation when I asked Sania why she started this? Her reply was really shocking for me, she told ” Being a health and wellness coach for several years throughout my work experience, I have come across several women who had major issues with their periods but they always shied away from discussing it with anyone. They felt uncomfortable even to explain it to their own daughters and used to bring them to me for counseling. What came to me as a surprise was that even educated, urban women, are oblivious of their own body and menstrual cycle. They had very little knowledge about the basics and dos and don’ts. Women and girls at large had ill or misinformation about maintaining hygiene and following best practices during their period. All this together stirred me to come out and start an awareness campaign on menstrual health and hygiene among women and young girls.“
We as parents should be more responsible to explain these basics to our daughters. Humjoli foundation is all about spreading correct education and concepts, eradicating ‘period poverty’ and above all most important breaking taboos and myths associated with menstruation.
Objective/Goal of Humjoli foundation
This foundation is working towards the hygiene and health of women, and Sania explained 4 major goals they are taking care of-
1. Directly ‘reaching & teaching’ women and young girls through awareness sessions, workshop and personal (one-on-one) counseling
2. Giving training the volunteers using a specially designed module, so that those volunteers can spread the word individually in their respective areas.
3. Providing sustainable livelihood to women.
4. Conducting pad donation drives at the mass level.
She also told that apart from working with low-income group ladies and girls, Humjoli also takes corporate sessions for employees of organizations where the talk is about menstrual health in general, the importance of hygiene during periods, what’s normal and what is not during periods, diseases and infections caused due to poor menstrual hygiene, sanitation & disposal, usage and pros-&-cons of menstrual hygiene products beyond sanitary pads (such as a menstrual cup, tampon, and reusable cloth pads), busting myths and taboos around menstruation, hacks & tricks to have a smooth period and dealing with menopause.
No such journey starts with challenges in that situation how one reacts matters the most. When I asked the challenges foundation faced, her reply was so real, she told “The biggest challenge is to tackle the callous mindset of the elderly (men and women both) about menstruation. They have their set notions and practices which are strongly linked with religion, and so it becomes extremely challenging to argue or rationally talk with them while busting myths and taboos associated with periods.”
It must be tough for her to make them understand the real cause of mensuration, but she shared some myths we always heard it happens in India but she heard it happens in today’s life and even in cities. She shared her experience and that was really sad to hear that people believe in this today.
“Unfortunately, our society imposes the most obnoxious and baseless restrictions on menstruating women. Menstruation, which is a normal biological process of a woman’s body, is considered unclean and embarrassing; even the mention of menstruation both in public and in private is considered bad. Innumerable myths and taboos are associated with periods.
Women are asked to sit away from the family, eat-in separate utensils, instructed not to bath or wash hair, not allowed to enter the kitchen, touch food or achar and be a part of any family gathering or religious function.
Most of these myths are based on superstition, and not only are they incorrect, but they also aid in preserving and continuing gender-based discrimination and behavioral restrictions on women.“
Bringing these girls, women out from these myths is a real challenge today.
If you want to volunteer with them can connect with at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp at 9604646190. They will get back to you on how to go further about it.
Anyone can invite them to their school, college, office or any other community for conducting awareness sessions.
Sania is undoubtedly doing amazing and great work and she urges that “everyone should come forward and contribute to society in their own way. All should do CSR – Common man’s Social Responsibility. Just be humble, be giving”
In last 1 year, humjoli foundation has done a wonderful job by reaching to more than 10,000 women and girls through her educational and awareness gatherings, conducted over 100 sessions, trained more than 350 volunteers and distributed 10000+ sanitary pads
This post is written under 26 inspiring stories series for AtoZ challenge hosted by Blogchatter!!
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