Digital literacy and menstrual hygiene have been jointly addressed through the Digital Didi program which is currently building a cohort of trained women who can actively speak around the sensitive topics and empower women in their locality.
Digital Didi is a pan India program for empowering women with digital skills, encouraging them to practise reusable SmartPads and creating a healthy ecosystem for sustainable livelihoods. Digital Didi aims to address two issues; women’s menstrual hygiene and women’s digital literacy with a unique method of reaching out to women and young girls. 350 Health SoochnaPreneurs will be engaging as facilitators and 35,000 rural women and adolescent girls will be digitally empowered through Learning Management System (LMS) Chatbot which is a self-learning tool consisting of modules on digital literacy, financial literacy, basic entrepreneurial skills, citizen services and menstrual health and hygiene.
Starting January 2023, the program has provided the access to Digital Didi LMS Chatbot through multiple trainings. Besides that, training on menstrual health and hygiene, alongside introduction of SmartPad was done in the states of West Bengal (Malda, Murshidabad and Nadia) and Bihar (West Champaran).
The training for the program was held on 1st February in West Champaran, Bihar and on 7th February in Alwar, Rajasthan. The training was planned to include rural women in the digital economy, provide accessibility to digital literacy through LMS chatbot and enable women to overcome gender biases.
A pre-assessment was done before the program following which the initiative was introduced. After familiarising with the participants, the Smartpad was explained along with stressing on the importance of it and demonstrating how to use it. A discussion on the problems around using disposable pads was held which lead to elaborating further on the significance of maintaining good menstrual hygiene. Women’s nutrition and myths around women’s health were also touched upon. After introducing the LMS chatbot through demonstration, post assessment of the program was conducted. Similar trainings were conducted in other parts of Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in the month of February.
Through the chatbot, 350 Digital Didis, 3,489 adolescent girls and 9,704 women have been informed about digital literacy so far the program is continuing its efforts to reach out to many more.