In tribute to the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, the District Administration of Bandipora, in collaboration with the Jammu & Kashmir Students Welfare Mission (JKSWM), has launched a significant endeavor called WASH, which stands for Women And Sanitary Hygiene. This project aims to empower women and promote exemplary sanitary hygiene practices throughout the district.
Officials have emphasized that this initiative is a testament to Gandhi Ji’s unwavering commitment to women’s empowerment and his deep respect for “Nari Shakti” (the power of women). They underscore that this pioneering effort, focused on advancing WASH practices in Bandipora, represents a unique partnership between the district administration and the non-profit organization, Jammu & Kashmir Students Welfare Mission, with support from the ‘We Are Human Foundation (WAHF)’ based in New Delhi.
The initiation of the WASH program was led by Deputy Commissioner Dr. Owais Ahmed, IAS, of Bandipora, and it was effectively coordinated by Mohammad Ashraf Hakak, the District Programme Officer for POSHAN. The valuable guidance of Hidayatullah Mir, the District Social Welfare Officer of Bandipora, has played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of this initiative, which seeks to make a substantial impact on women’s health and hygiene.
A multitude of activities, including the distribution of sanitary kits and hygiene awareness campaigns, were simultaneously conducted at prominent locations within the district. These locations encompassed significant institutions such as the New District Hospital Bandipora, the Gynecology Department at DH Bandipora, and the Girls Higher Secondary School Bandipora. Additionally, the program extended its reach to various women self-help groups and ICDS centers across numerous areas of the district, including Arin, Aloosa, Bagh, Chewa, Vijpara Hajin, Kudara, Chuntimullah, Mukdamyari Hajin, Goshbugh, Sumbal, and others.
The program’s success can be attributed to the collaborative efforts of key stakeholders, including the district administration of Bandipora, the Department of Social Welfare Bandipora, ICDS Bandipora, SAKHI One Stop Centre Bandipora, and the District Hub for Empowerment of Women (DHEW), Bandipora. The on-ground implementation of the program was led by the women-driven center, SAKHI – One Stop Centre, Bandipora, operating under the auspices of the Jammu & Kashmir Students Welfare Mission.
Speakers at the event emphasized Gandhi Ji’s recognition of the transformative influence of women in shaping society. They stressed that the WASH program transcends mere sanitation; it serves as a means of empowering women and acknowledging their indispensable role in the nation-building process.
As part of this commemorative initiative, the district administration distributed 10,000 sanitary kits to women and adolescent girls in need. An official statement has confirmed that the ambitious objective of Project WASH is to distribute even more WASH Kits by the end of the year.
Afshana Haasan, the Project Incharge of WASH, expressed her gratitude for the collaborative efforts of the District Administration of Bandipora, underscoring that this noble initiative would not have been possible without their support.