NEW: 'No Teenager or Mother Comes to Us to Discuss Menstruation'
Q. What are the various menstrual health services delivered in your village and district? What is your role in the process?
Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA): I am not aware of any such government scheme. I go door-to-door to inform women about it. A lot of mothers and pregnant women come to Mata Samiti which we organise with an NGO. Here, I explain menstrual health to them, but they mostly just listen and do not speak their mind.
Q. Do you think community members are interested in discussing menstrual hygiene? Who all are usually involved? Are women and especially adolescent girls interested in understanding menstrual hygiene from you?
ASHA: No teenager or mother comes to us to discuss menstruation. When I go for home-visits, adolescent girls do not even leave their room.
Q. Have you received any training on menstrual health?
ASHA: I haven't received enough training on the subject. I share the same information which I received from ANM. But the government should give proper training on this subject.
Q. Are you aware of whether your Gram Panchayat prioritises menstrual health services during its planning?
ASHA: We are not called in any meeting related to village finances or planning. Even when it comes to basic amenities, the authorities leave after barely completing the toilets and clicking photographs.
This interview was conducted with an ASHA in Bihar in Hindi on 31 March 2023, and has been translated.
Photo credit: Hindustan Times