~ Ms. Anju Bist, who is popularly known as Padwoman of India, was the guest speaker at the engrossing session ~
Rourkela, 19th September 2023: Hockey India took a significant step towards promoting the well-being and empowerment of young female athletes as it organized a comprehensive awareness session on "Menstrual Health" for the Indian Women's Sub-Junior Team in Rourkela on Tuesday. The important session shed light on menstrual health and introduced the athletes to eco-friendly reusable pads.
The awareness session was organised in collaboration with an innovative sanitary pad brand - Saukhyam, which is an initiative from the renowned Mata Amritanandamayi Math and produces reusable sanitary pads that are made of fine cotton fabric and banana fibre.
Interestingly, the guest speaker at the session was Ms. Anju Bist, who is popularly known as the Padwoman of India. She is the founding managing director of the Saukhyam, the initiative that won the Women Transforming India award from NITI Aayog in the year 2022.
Talking about the engrossing session, it prioritized educating teenage girls about menstrual health, recognizing its pivotal role in the holistic development of young athletes. Hockey India's commitment to the well-being of its athletes was evident as the session delved into the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of menstruation.
The session also introduced young athletes to various menstrual hygiene options, with a special emphasis on the benefits of using reusable pads for both health and the environment.
Moreover, the educational experience was enriched with a multimedia approach as a well-structured PowerPoint presentation was used to provide essential information and it was complemented by enlightening videos that offered practical insights into managing menstrual health. This combination of resources ensured that the athletes received a comprehensive and engaging education on this vital subject.
The session was conducted under the watchful eyes of Asunta Lakra, Hockey India Athlete Representative, who is currently part of the coaching staff for the ongoing Women's Sub-Junior National Coaching Camp in Rourkela.
Expressing her thoughts on the brilliant initiative the former Indian Captain said, “It's imperative that we empower our young athletes with knowledge that goes beyond the playing field. This awareness session was crucial for young girls to be well-informed about menstruation and to embrace the normalcy of this natural process. It's essential for them to openly discuss it.”
“Understanding how to maintain hygiene, manage mood swings, make healthy dietary choices, and stay hydrated during their periods is valuable knowledge that should be imparted from a young age. Hence, it was an exceptional initiative by Hockey India as it provided young girls the opportunity to learn about their bodies and periods, ensuring they are well-prepared for this normal phase of womanhood," she added.
With an initiative like this, Hockey India is not only focusing on empowering young women with knowledge and choices regarding menstrual health, but it is also aiming to foster a sense of well-being and environmental responsibility among its athletes.
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