A Million Thousand Rupees
Today we traveled to an urban yet traditional village right outside a fairly large town about 3 hours from Hyderabad. If you think a village closer to an urban center will be suburban or have more modern amenities think again. Urban villages tend to be the slums and not suburbia. This village was no different. It was literally 3 blocks from the main road yet their huts were the merest of reed and rush. There were two adobe dwellings. We met with the women in one of them.
The men in this village work in town and the women stay in the village.
There are about 15 families and most of the women came to the meeting. After our problems the day before in the village where we had stayed for 8 hours, we had felt a bit discouraged. We decided to only meet with these women for 3 hours. We didn’t know until we arrived their children were in school for most of the presentations which made it easier for everyone. This village is Christian and conservative Hindu and Baha’i.
At the end of the meeting, two women spoke to Naheed. They were from another village and Muslim. They had seen our car arrive and wandered over planning to stay for 5 minutes and stayed for 3 hours. They were thrilled and couldn’t stop talking about how they were going immediately to the other Muslim villages in the area to share the skills.
This group was wonderful. First, they shared the same language as Naheed our translator. Bahia’s (another Baha’i woman) grown daughter came as well. She had worked as a teacher and shared Baha’i teachings in this village over the past few years so everyone was like a big family.
Most of these women delivered in hospital and laboured alone with a midwife sitting in the room timing contractions but not interacting much. When they scream the midwives tell them to take deep breaths in and hold them and that’s all. When they do deliver in the village then relatives are present. They massage the belly a lot during labour as their type of massage.
It seems in this village women was having trouble getting pregnant whereas in the other village they were overrun with children and wanted to stop having them. Often the women hope that I am here to treat them for one or the other problem. It’s either family planning or fertility talks. This is not the case. They’re all quite happy with The Pink Kit skills.
One of the delights of the day came from a comment Naheed made. She said that if she had come to the village on a request to speak about Baha’i, the Muslim women from the other village and many of the Christian and Hindu women would have left. Instead, all the women attended the 3 hours even when the children came back from school they were sent away saying: ‘Your mother is in school now, go away’. Of course very young children always stay, nurse and sleep but in this village the women wanted the older children to go do something else.
My hosts and translators were thrilled with the response in this village. One woman told the translators the skills they had learned were worth more than a million thousand rupees.