State

Kashmir doctor starts crowdfunding for providing sanitary pads to poor

ANH Desk

Srinagar, May 04: A 31 year old doctor has initiated a crowdfunding to provide sanitary pads to the impoverished girls and combat the related infections.

Reports said 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.

“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”, said Dr Auqfeen, who is pursuing MD in Community Medicine at Government Medical College, Srinagar.
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 said. 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.

The project is gaining support by the day with NGOs coming forward with the offer of help. “I have decided to start my website where I 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. (Agencies)

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