According to the 2011 census, 64.7% of women in the world are currently within the menstrual age and majority of them do not have access to clean environments or safe products. Menstruation has always been surrounded with myths and taboos in many Indian societies.

Lack of knowledge about menstruation and the associated myths have the following implications for most of the girls:

  • Missing school or dropping out altogether
  • Lack of support system within the community
  • Limited knowledge of menstrual hygiene practices
  • Health problems like Anemia, Leucorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases due to improper menstrual hygiene practices

Upon identifying these myths and its repercussions, Indian Dreams Foundation (IDF) decided to develop a program named "Smiley Days", to help with girls and women's health issues, and to enable them to develop and succeed in life.

Smiley Days is a new initiative that aims to address female health and hygiene issues, and promote awareness in economically backward communities. The program will be targeting 11-20 year old girls, who live in urban and rural slums, to ensure that they have adequate information about the importance of personal hygiene.

The main objectives of this project are to identify hygiene practices, and their effect on health, lifestyle, mental well-being and education. Details are below:

  • To identify Menstrual hygiene practices in the target group and their effect on health and lifestyle
  • Understanding menstrual hygiene management in adolescent girls and the resulting effects on their education.
  • To analyze social and cultural issues relating to menstruation and their effects on girls' education
  • To increase awareness among adolescent girls and women about proper hygiene& sanitation practices.
  • To build self-esteem and confidence in girls and women through increased awareness about their fundamental human rights
  • To create motivation for menstrual hygiene management and the use of sanitary napkins by adolescents in our target areas.
  • To ensure safe disposal of sanitary napkins in an environment friendly manner.

The program's objectives are achieved through key strategies in the target community:

  • Generate Awareness: This will involve scheduling counseling session and, workshops, distributing handouts and hygiene kits, and establishing an outreach partnership with SAKHI (campaign representative)
  • Resource Availability: This will engage local stakeholders, Smiley Resource Centers, provide regular health check-ups and economical, quality sanitary napkins to girls
  • Reward: Every beneficiary will receive a 'My Smiley Box' for maintaining regular hygiene practices

In order to achieve the objective with the key strategies listed above, the goal of this program is to impact the lifestyle of women by providing access to information about menstrual hygiene and health practices, to allow for education during this time, and access to economical sanitary products

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