The possibility of eerie household sharing information on menstrual hygiene can enable the society, mostly the rural and semi-urban, to avoid health complications is tapped into by DEF through Digital Didi program.
A privileged few to whom information is available at the tip of their fingers take access to information for granted and it becomes hard to fully grasp what the consequences of lack of such access to information are. Nearly half of India’s rural and semi-urban women and adolescent girls face various health related issues due to lack of adequate knowledge about menstrual hygiene.
Menstruation is indeed a taboo in rural India even today. Women and young girls do not participate without a sense of discomfort to discuss this issue. This is where providing them information regarding this through digital means that they can easily access, provided that they are trained to use digital tools, is going to help in handling this issue in a more inclusive way. Digital Empowerment Foundation has spent over 20 years providing resources to the rural population to bridge this gap in access to information.
Under the umbrella of different programs, more specifically, HealthPreneurs are trained to bring digital intervention in the field of health through various means like telemedicine, health camps etc. Another successful program that directly deals with menstrual hygiene is the Digital Didi program which is aimed at digitally empowering women and girls, and introduces them to be aware about their health so that they become self-reliant in accessing what they need without hesitation.
As part of capacity building under this program, a one day training session was conducted in Malda district of West Bengal. The main objective of this training was that Health Information Preneur can reach the conclusion of understanding problems and find solutions to sensitive issues like menstruation within their community and successfully implement Digital Didi program all over India. During the training, all Digital Didis were provided with training kits as well as smartpads (reusable cotton pads stitched by rural women). This training was planned to play a positive role in better understanding about the Digital Didi program and its objectives as well as open up more to talk about health related issues around menstruation as a society.