Nirman Foundation has been conducting a series of online workshops with the adolescent school children, across the districts of West Bengal since last year. Due to Covid 19 pandemic and continuation of closure of schools, this year too we are continuing our interaction with the students on the virtual platform. This is primarily to share with them some very essential information that is all the more essential in the Covid 19 pandemic situation.

In the second phase of Unlocking Dialogues, we have conducted our online workshops with four schools, namely: Barisha Vivekananda Girls High Schools of Kolkata, Heriadaha Sudha Prasad Balika Vidyalaya, Bantika Girls High School and Talpur Lakshimimoni Balika Vidyamandir of Hooghly district of West Bengal. The school teachers and especially the Headmistresses of all the four schools have been extremely cooperative and enthusiastic about the entire programme and had been present with us throughout. The interactive training sessions were compartmentalized into four segments covering the issues on WASH, Menstruation Health and Hygiene Management (MHHM), Protection and Nutrition. The objective of this programme was to let the adolescents girls know about some very essential information, which they are missing out as they cannot go to schools and also to train them to disseminate the same to their friends and peers for behavioural change towards positive conduct. As of now, we have reached to about 72 adolescent girls.

  • In the session of WASH, the students were oriented on Water and its importance and how to use it in optimum way and conserve water; on sanitation and its importance and how can we keep our surroundings clean in our own limited capacities; and hygiene and its importance, especially in the current Covid 19 situation.
  • The session on MHHM aimed at breaking the ice and hesitating among all to freely discuss this issue highlighting the concept of menstruation, the biological aspect of the phenomenon, ways to maintain hygiene during the days of menstruation and superstitions and taboos attached to the same.
  • The session on nutrition discussed as to why do we need to maintain a balance of all required nutrients at the adolescent age and how can we have a balanced nutritious diet at home at low cost.
  • The topic of Child Protection was also discussed in this phase as the age of adolescence is very sensitive and distracting and vulnerable. This session shared very valid information on all the major helpline numbers, made them understand the concept of Child Protection, it’s requirement in our society and how can we maintain the same. There were very interactive discussions on POCSO, CWC and other laws related to Child Protection.