Started journey for self, now helping health and hygiene for all
January 21st , 2019 | Seema Khandale
How do I find myself?
I, Mrs Khandale, Mom of two sons and done. This was my introduction few years back. But now, I can proudly say that I am social personality who has transformed the lives of hundreds of women, and this certainly did not happen overnight.
20 years of being married, taking care of the family and being there for my children all the time and a dream started blooming inside me. I decided to pursue Masters in Social Work from IGNOU and completed it by March 2015. It felt like a dream coming true
Gradually, my passion for social work evolved and turned into a full time undertaking. I founded my NGO Ashay Social Group and got it registered in October 2015. Working for the care and protection of our environment, Ashay Social Group has two primary objectives
1) Avoid Plastic Carry Bags and Use Cloth Bags.
2) Health, Hygiene and Promotion of Sustainable Menstruation Options(Menstrual Cup and Cloth pads)
Health & Hygiene was our concern
In association with India Woman Blog, we successfully carried out the Cold Period Campaign in Jaipur in December 2017. During the campaign, we managed to help 49 women switch to menstrual cup in a single day. In the follow-up round of the campaign, these women showered us with their blessings and asked for more cups for their friends and relatives.
I have conducted a large number of sessions at private and government offices, schools and colleges explaining about sustainable menstrual products. A number of sessions have also been conducted in different communities with the help of Angadwadi sevikas.
Mouth to mouth publicity has worked like magic for me in encouraging more and more women to switch to menstrual cup and cloth pads.
I am glad to share that I have had live Facebook sessions and TV interviews with some renowned media houses and organisations such as Pinkathon, Lokmat and Max Maharashtra.
Recently, I arranged two online sessions with Indians settled in China. Conducted through an app, WeChat, I interacted with as many as 500 women in the session and sent RUTU cups all the way to China.
Getting recognition and awareness helped our cause
My thriving social endeavors have been covered by a lot of websites such as The Indian Woman Blog, The Better Indian and Topyaps. Many articles talking about my work have also been published in different newsletters.
I have been fortunate enough to be acknowledged for my work and interviewed by several radio channels broadcasting in Mumbai, Surat, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Dhule etc. I am glad for the fact that it helps me spread the word about my work even more
Last month, 11th Dec i was selected for BahinaBai award, for working for Women's Health, by Gurunath Foundation, Muktainagar, in Guidance of Shri Eknathrao Khadse Sir.
Above all, my biggest achievement are happy sustainable menstrual product users who are also my best volunteers and a great support system. The satisfaction and comfort they have found in using menstrual cups and cloth pads does not let them sit still but spread the word around to more and more women. I am glad that my interaction helps them gain confidence that someone is with them to help them take small steps towards sustainable and happier periods.
The author of the story is “Seema of Ashay Social Group and you can reach out to her at their firstname.lastname@example.org
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