Fungal Free Frock (3 F) Project

Fungal Free Frock (3 F) Project

Women constitute more than 50% of a tea estate population in Assam. Women busy working in the estates and house tend to ignore their own health. Although various programmes have been introduced by the government, only a few are aware of, and access these programmes. One of the hidden health issues of women in tea estates is the Fungal infection. During monsoons, fungal infection affects approximately 7 out of 10 women. Although the incidence of infection is large, very often women do not seek medical intervention. The working women population typically owns 2-3 pairs of clothes (frocks worn around waist which doubles up as undergarment). Further, these frocks are often not properly sun dried, leading to the development of fungus, ultimately leading to fungal infection in women. The infections from women workers are sometimes transmitted to other family members including children.

As a step to mitigate this, APPL Foundation, supported by Zorg van de Zaak Foundation (The Netherlands) have commenced a Fungal Free Frocks Project. The project has two parts- preventive (to prevent fungal infections from happening) and curative (medical intervention to treat the infection once it has developed). The preventive activities focus on creating awareness on disease and provision of detergent/soap, and frocks/petticoats for women. The treatment involves provision of free ointment and oral medication.

The working women population typically owns 2-3 pairs of clothes (frocks worn around waist which doubles up as undergarment). Further, these frocks are often not properly sun dried, leading to the development of fungus, ultimately leading to fungal infection in women. The infections from women workers are sometimes transmitted to other family members including children.

The project is being implemented in the three estates of Borjan, Nahortoli, and Chubwa. This is a demonstration project for the entire tea sector where the issue of fungal infection is largely unknown and hidden. The project aspires to create a cured and health women tea worker, and a model character for the sector.