Thursday, April 4, 2013
Health education class in a village (child marriage)
25th Feb.2013, We held a Health education class of Mothers & Infants health care project at a village.
Since the day, we used a room of a public building (that was ex-building of our school before shifting) there and we kept all people outside the room so that we can talk with the mothers about them and their babies in detail by calling them one by one.
Till last time, we called a mother to check up her and her baby in front of all people and asked her surrounded by all in the veranda, so they couldn't say anything, because they felt hesitation to talk about their internal problems in front of many people.
After all, in spite of using the room, it became congested with crowd gradually, and Reika madam scalded them to get out of the room many times, and children run away each time.
That day, two ex-students came there.
One of them was a brilliant student who was top in her class and we had expected her future very much at that time. All of sudden, when she became 13 years old, her parents forced her to marry, and after her marriage, she had some babies dead before birth few times in a few years, now she became a mother of two children.
She brought her children who are 4 years old and 1 year old.
When I saw her children I recognized them as her children because of their faces were similar to herself.
She came to ask me "Please allow my child to study at your school" as a mother.
While we check the babies weight and height, we talk with the mother and her baby to see their situation.
And we recommend them to go to clinic when we find some problems in their health by their growth.
Then, we made a map by hearing them one by one where their houses are so that we can visit their houses in near future.
After checking weight of babies, then we check the blood pressure of pregnant women.
Another ex-student was in the line of them.
Reika madam asked her questions while checking her BP.
She told that her first baby was dead in 4 months after being pregnant.
And this time is second pregnant for her.
I was surprised when her elder sister married early few years ago, and I noticed that I have never seen her these days at our school, and she married too.
She was forced to marry by her parents.
When parents find their child became taller as same as them, then they think the child have to marry.
Actually, the law in India does not allow marriage below 18 years old for girl.
But, the customs of child marriage continue in rural areas still now.
When the girl is small, her parents make her engaged with her future husband, and the girl stays with her parents until her menstruation starts and after that the girl will be sent to her engaged husband's house, this is common in village.
Marriage itself is not a bad thing, but I think that the one's decision when and whom to marry is ignored, and in the child marriage case, the mother's body is not mature to be pregnant so it might be some problems with pregnant and delivery for both of mother and child.
It is very difficult to change the thinking of villagers.
Our power is very small but I'd like to help mothers in village to live better and happier life through this project.