Assam State Disaster Management Authority is all set to celebrate its 11th foundation day on 23rd March, 2022. The celebration will be marked by organizing a Marathon under the theme “Marathon for resilience” in order to create awareness on menstrual hygiene during disasters in Assam and provide support to women through installation of Sanitary Vending and Disposal machine. This is for the first time that ASDMA has undertaken crowd funding initiative wherein citizens are appealed to take part in the state emergency preparedness targeting women and adolescent girls. Since schools in Assam are mostly used as flood relief shelters, therefore these centers can be equipped with Sanitary Pad vending machines wherein regular supply of biodegradable pads will be maintained.
Every year as a part of its foundation day celebration, the ASDMA touches upon issues that are of utmost importance in context to disaster management and mitigation and create awareness about it through various initiatives. Similarly, this year the authority has taken up the issue of Menstrual Hygiene Management during emergencies, which is an area that remain unattended in the relief measures for a long time. Access to safe and dignified menstruation is a fundamental need for women and adolescent girls. However due to various constrains this vulnerable group remain deprived of the basic needs related to menstrual hygiene. Especially in rural areas of the state, menstruation is considered as a taboo induced with stigma, which limits discussion thereby creating a barrier on information exchanged. This act as a constrain to the development of a community which is informed and aware on the culture of safety. Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) envisions a future where every girl can learn, play, and safeguard her own health without experiencing stress, shame, or unnecessary barriers to information or supplies during menstruation.
The idea of crowd funding initiative has been undertaken in order to engage the citizen and sensitize them about the importance and impact of Menstrual Hygiene Management. At the same time this will instill a sense of ownership among the community in order to ensure proper management and use of the Sanitary Vending and Disposal Machines and also to maintain sustainability of the activity. Thus, a minimum registration fee of Rs. 100/- will be charged from the participants during registration for the marathon and the fund generated will be utilized for the installation of the Sanitary Vending and Disposal Machines at the flood shelters. People of any age group can participate in the marathon by registering online from ASDMA website. The marathon will start at 6am in the morning on 23rd of March from ASDMA headquarters in Dispur and the participants will have to cover 10km distance from Assam Secretariat to Ulubari Flyover and back to Assam Secretariat.