About Mrs. Meena Mehta
Initially, they would look like an ordinary couple but inside they are beautiful human beings. We all are so much busy in our own lives that we hardly get time to check around that how people are even surviving. Here is the story of a couple from Surat for whom I have no words for their great work but only respect.
Here we are in conversation with Mrs. Meena Mehta from Surat who, along with her husband Mr. Atul, is making an extraordinary difference to the personal hygiene and health of underprivileged girls of Surat. This couple distributes Magical Kits to the girls studying in Corporation Schools who already have less of the resources. This Magical Kit contains a pack of 8 sanitary napkins, two sets of undergarments, one bar of soap and four shampoo sachets. This couple has been doing this work since July 16, 2012. First, she took permission from the Surat Municipal Corporation to distribute sanitary napkins in municipal schools, where most of the girls come to study from the slums in the city. This is how they go about it. Let’s hear the story in their own words:
“You should see the spark in their eyes. They always tell me – ‘Dadi, this is the best gift we have ever received.’ They are so thankful and happy. Many of them hug me and share their experiences from the time when they suddenly got their periods and our kits proved useful to them. I also give sports bras to differently abled girls for whom it can be difficult to use hooks, etc. To small girls and boys in the age group of 4-11 years, I provide undergarments every two months. The aim is to teach them hygiene from the very beginning. Children come regularly because they know that I can visit on any day. They are always very neat and clean and have increased self-confidence. The number of dropouts every year has also reduced. I usually put all the undergarments on the table and ask the girls to choose the colours they want. They are always really excited about choosing their favourite colours. Once, a girl told me that she is not wearing her panties because she has only one piece. That increased my belief in the importance of this work. Initially, the girls used to hesitate to take the pads from me because they were not sure they would get them every month. They were scared that if they got into the habit of using these sanitary napkins it would be a problem if they didn’t get them later on. But I assured them that I will be regular with the distribution.”
Ultimately when asked on the message she would like to give to fellow Surtis, she said, “I tell people that they can start with one or two schools. You can start with the lady who works at your house as well.” WE SALUTE THIS SURTI WOMANIYA. MORE POWER TO YOU, MA’AM.
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