19-year-old, Pushpa is an active girl from Sunsari district selected as the Champions of Change (CoC) facilitator since a year. She was very interested to be an activist since her school days. Today she has been involved in activism in her local community on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) issues. She shares that, her personal experience to face the lack of access to proper SRH information made her more alert and be involved in advocating about these issues to her local community.
“ I felt very bad when the teachers skipped the lesson that included the topics such as the menstruation, Reproductive Health. It was very hard for me when I had my own periods because I had no idea of how
it was managed, what should be done what not. Even at times of having menstruation, I heard my friends having to do much hard work at home, lift heavy things even while experiencing the cramps.”
She was engaged in the Child Clubs in her school and Scouts even today, through which she was able to get the information and aware her friends and other people related with the Menstrual Hygiene Management. She also helped the other activist and red cross members in awareness activities through which she too got aware about Safe abortion, Contraceptives, etc.
One year back, she had been selected as the CoC facilitator and since then been actively taking the CoC sessions to the new members balancing her education as well as daily life. undeniably, she got many criticisms and many such lashes from the society and community as a person who talked about the SRH issues. However, she stood strong and gained the trust and support from her family and community.
“ When I went about advocating about SRH issues, there were many back talks, people came to criticize my family and they also tried telling me not to go around talking about such things. But I didn’t stop because I knew I was doing the right thing. Today I get all the support because of the good work I am doing and they too themselves have seen the changes that our efforts are bringing in the society”.
She too shared an interesting experience about her time during advocacy of the SRHR issues, where she used to carry all the contraceptives devices like condoms, pills etc. Her family and society used to question her about such behavior.
“For the CoC sessions, Scouts sessions I carry the condoms and such contraceptives to demonstrate to the participants. I got it from the other facilitators which I kept at home. But when my family, other society people saw or knew about this they used to ask why I kept such supplies, told my family that I might be going in a bad path in life, I might go out of line and similar criticisms. But I didn’t fear those talks. I even gave the condom to my brother who I knew had a girlfriend so that they be safe.”
Today she is well supported by the society and the family. She shares that her father, brothers who were unsupportive before are caring now and they help her and let her to travel and go in different programs. She has become as an role model for the society and the community. Other girls are also inspired by her efforts and look upon her for the assistance for any information or help.