Geeta Bora- Touching Millions of Helpless Lives through her Spherule Foundation.
24 November 2018
In the 21st century, India, people still consider menstrual hygiene as a taboo. Nobody talks about it or feels free to share about their personal hygiene issues- which is a matter of serious concern at present. However, things have changed to a certain extent as the budding social workers like Geeta Bora are trying their level best to eradicate the rumoured myths related to menstruation along with eradicating the social vices.
Being the receiver of highly prestigious awards like BD Sahitya Akademi Award, Samaj Sevi Ratan, PAD Hero of India, Geeta Bora has made the country proud with her contributions in various social activities. Geeta was born in Delhi. She completed her graduation and post-graduation in computer science and then she shifted to the US and did PhD in the same subject. She always wanted to work for the society and thus she began working with NGO’s from the very beginning of her career. It took her 9 years to come out of her job and start working for the society.
She began the Spherule Foundation by giving prominence to the matter of menstrual health and hygiene. She was in Delhi on a vacation when she came across the pathetic condition of the poor girls when she saw them collecting used sanitary napkins. She went out to ask the girls regarding the same when their answer totally shocked her.
She came to know that these girls collect the used sanitary napkins, wash and dry it and then use it. This horrified Geeta and she thought of doing something immediately to help these girls out. In this way, she started forming her foundation.
There were struggles that Geeta faced during the initial period as they set up the health camps in rural areas. There were several women suffering from bacterial infections and were not ready to go for health checkups. The reason for their hesitation was that they demanded female gynaecologist and not male. Also, they did not prefer going for such checkups as they were also the victims of strict patriarchy. In fact, they are still struggling with this issue.
They are doing awareness campaigns, providing sanitary napkins at present. Apart from menstrual health and hygiene issue, Geeta and her team are also dealing with sexual harassment not only in both rural and urban areas but also in the corporate world. It has been noted that women do not speak out about sexual harassment in workplaces in fear of losing their jobs.
Geeta is also running the “Youth for Cause initiative” under which the students of different colleges, universities and also the corporate sector women are warned about social issues. She and her team have conducted sessions and workshops in IITs, IIMs and other top colleges and many corporates in India.
Cases of sexual harassment are also seen in the household as girls are married off before they attain puberty. They are sexual abused which causes early pregnancies that pose a severe health risk. So, she and her team are also encouraging such women to speak up through her awareness campaigns.
Geeta holds a strong view about women empowerment. She says, “Women empowerment comes with education.” If women are able to make their own decision, that itself would empower them. It also means being financially independent.
They are now planning to work on the projects related to the malnourishment of pregnant women, gender equality and domestic violence. This project is meant for reducing the number of deaths that occur due to malnourished pregnancies, so they have started providing such women pre-natal vitamins for delivering healthy babies.
With Geeta’s effort in controlling social vices like domestic violence, gender inequality, sexual harassment, and other issues are what she considers to be her proudest achievement. Inspired by Geeta’s work and its vital impact on the society, Tougheggs Studios made a documentary movie titled “Pie in the Sky” that challenges menstruation taboo, old belief system, myths and misconceptions pertaining in our society.
Her life mantra is, “One should try to change society if they feel the need to change it”.
She urges her readers to try dealing with social vices at least with the help of technology so that it could be tackled easily. Being the leader of an organization like Spherule Foundation, Geeta becomes a woman of courage; as it is because of her selfless efforts and hard work that millions of lives have been touched.
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