‘Pained by poor hygiene’: Kashmir doctor starts crowdfunding for providing sanitary pads to poor

‘Pained by poor hygiene’: Kashmir doctor starts crowdfunding for providing sanitary pads to poor

 

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A 31 year old doctor  has started a crowdfunding to provide sanitary pads to the impoverished girls and combat the related infections.

According to DNA India,  the idea to start crowdfunding popped up her mind when Dr Auqfeen  was treating patients during her weekly Out Patient Department (OPD) in the poor Srinagar neighbourhood, she was shocked to find out that adolescent girls were using cloth during their periods because they were fed with the notion that sanitary pads lead to infertility.

Pained by the poor hygiene, social taboos and lack of affordability,
“On Wednesdays, we visit the sub-centre to monitor immunization session and at the same time, we conduct OPDs. During these sessions, I observed that menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls was very poor. I thought of starting the project on an individual level which I named ‘Panen Fiker’ (let’s take care of ourselves). It is a project in social marketing to enhance the use of sanitary pads among the adolescent girls”, Dr Auqfeen was quoted as saying by DNA

She is also pursuing MD in Community Medicine at Government Medical College, Srinagar.

She said that during the project she found out  there were more than 200 adolescent girls in the neighbourhood and most of them were following their mothers and using cloth. With the result, the girls suffered from different reproductive tract infections.

“Most girls complained of irritation and allergy. Some said they spend a lot of time in the washroom. When I asked why they were not using the pads, they said their mothers have told them that the materials used in napkins lead to infertility”, she told DNA.

Sensing the gravity of the situation, Dr Auqfeen started the project to help these poor girls. “I started a post on the social media for donations. I also conducted an awareness session in the neighbourhood and sought their support.

People are not well off but they can contribute Rs 10 or 20 or maximum 50. The maximum contribution has been from my department”, she said.

After careful analysis, she decided to provide the sanitary pads on subsidized rates so that girls can start using it. “Once you provide pads free of cost and then stop it, they will not use it. So I want to provide pads on subsidized rates. I purchased sanitary pads and donated it among the girls”, she said.

Following the success of the project with NGOs coming forward to help, Dr Auqfeen has decided to start her website where she can seek the support of the people for the project.

“One NGO came forward with help. They also wanted to expand this project and conduct awareness sessions in other areas as well”, said Dr Auqfeen.

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