Like most rural Indian parts, Hingalgunj and surrounding regions of Sunderbans are not free of taboos and medieval belief systems. These ills of society hinder the development of communities. Team SWS works very hard to make people aware and desensitize issues like menstruation & subsequent health issues. They reach out to adolescent women and their families and make them aware of hygiene for health importance. This enables us to make communities aware of women health and the importance of hygiene and necessary medical attention.
Researches state that the literacy rate in North 24 Parganas has grown by 80%, but the figures are different for the literacy rate of women. Only 35% of women complete school. Such a lack of education and literacy makes the overall community weaker. The lack of education and literacy leads to a lack of awareness and less exposure to menstrual and reproductive health. Women fall victim to several myths and misconceptions.
In the interior and backward areas of Hasnabad & Hingalganj, almost all students are first-generation learners and most drop out of school after primary education. More than 20% of parents and families do not want their girls to continue school after primary classes. This is due to poverty, fear &insecurity for girl children, early marriage, child labour and lack of proper sanitation at most govt. Schools. Household chores, eloping for a better life, and human trafficking contribute to drop out of school for most girl children.
As per NFHS –IV survey, the child marriage rate in these rural areas is very high. It is almost 25 %. This Survey also portrays that quite a good percentage of girls get pregnant between 15-19 years. Nearly 30% of girls are married off between 15 – 18 years.