My organization Anubhuti has been working through our #SharirSanvaadAbhiyan with women and girls, and sensitizing boys, for sexual & reproductive justice. We have been working for gender-just SRHR services, implementation of laws for protection from sexual harassment and training women, girls, boys in sexual reproductive equity, dignity and rights.
So when we started providing relief in the COVID lockdown, we kept our eyes open to more vulnerable groups within the communities we are reaching. Pregnant women form a group that we are taking special efforts to ensure are not left out. One of the most vulnerable to infections, these women need good nutrition and a stress-free situation - all of which they are unable to get in this pandemic. Therefore Anubhuti is reaching them with customized dry ration packets.
“We have seen many political leaders, community leaders who keep in touch with us only to come on stage and give speeches about us. Deepa ma’am does not even know us and yet she came looking for us to find out if we needed help. The ration kits you are giving out are the best till date. It has taken care of women’s needs, special needs. Anubhuti is the only organization that has asked us for lists of pregnant women, disabled. This has pushed us to look at our communities with a new perspective and we are now paying special attention to these groups.” - NT community leader who was with us today coordinating distribution.
“I want to put my name in the nearby hospital for delivery, but the cost is too high and the medicines they give do not suit me. The doctor says I must take the medicines on a full stomach but that is usually not possible for me.” - a pregnant woman recipient.
“We beat ourselves (a traditional occupation where a particular nomadic community beat themselves with belts to put on a show and then beg) to earn a living. But in this lockdown we cannot go out and beg, the police will pick us up. In this situation, of course I worry for my pregnant wife.” - partner of a pregnant woman recipient.
As follow-up, Anubhuti has taken details of the women (how many months pregnant, whether name is given for institutional delivery in any clinic, etc.). We plan to follow up on whether they need medical support, and help them register at the nearest government hospital for a safe delivery.