Project Anandi: A Perspective by Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar

Serving as a conscientious public representative in the constituency, I have keenly observed a stark reality – the neglect of women’s health in our country, especially in rural areas. Poverty takes precedence in many households, leaving health services as a secondary concern. This troubling issue haunted me for a long time until my mother and elder sister offered a thought-provoking perspective: address women’s problems not just from the father’s standpoint but also from the mother’s viewpoint. Inspired by Akka’s wisdom, the innovative concept of Project Anandi took shape, marking a new milestone for the Akka Foundation focused on maternal well-being.

Upon learning that 138,000 girls in classes VI to XII face challenges related to menstruation in Latur, my sister Prajakta emphasised the need to act as a big brother to these girls. Traditional societal norms often hinder open discussions about menstruation, leading to health problems for girls. This highlighted a broader issue – the lack of genuine interest among men in women’s problems. I firmly believe that men must empathise with women’s pain and understand their concerns to truly live as compassionate human beings.

The vision emerged: every young woman in our district should experience happiness and well-being. Anandi, launched on June 4, 2022, under the guidance of my respected elder sister, provides health counselling in rural villages, schools, and colleges. Dispelling misconceptions about menstruation with insights from medical experts is a crucial aspect of this initiative. I believe that women in our country are inherently capable, but societal norms and traditions have confined them. To propel society and the nation forward, we must empower women by ensuring a healthy lifestyle. Anandi aims to initiate a dialogue on menstruation, fostering a positive environment for every girl.

Project Anandi endeavours to provide sanitary pads to our sisters, and we aspire to go beyond by promoting self-sufficiency through a sanitary pad-making business in rural areas. I envision a bright future for every sister, and our goal is to empower her by addressing her health concerns and offering appropriate medical care. Women’s health should be a top priority, not a mere choice. Every sister aspires to elevate her quality of life through health awareness, making it a sensitive social issue that requires your support and cooperation. I appeal to all men to provide emotional support to women during their menstrual cycle, to understand and strengthen the ‘she’ in your household, alleviating worries about menstruation.

Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, through initiatives like Project Anandi, showcases his commitment to social welfare projects and community development. His leadership in social change and contributions to grassroots development are evident in the impactful Project Anandi updates. As a Maharashtra politician dedicated to public service projects, Nilangekar continues to drive community empowerment and rural upliftment programs, aligning with the broader initiatives for the well-being of Maharashtra and its people.