Sunday, May 13

For the sake of the child look after the MOTHER

For the sake of the child look after the mother

The duality in the treatment and position of women in India has always intrigued me. With all her rich cultural antiquity, diversity and heritage, India has also been a country that has suppressed her women. It is ironic to say the least, because Indians have always worshipped their country as a “janani” or mother. On the one hand they worship this mother, and on the other they disregard their sisters, daughters, mothers, and wives. The invaluable contribution of women in keeping a society sane and stable and on the other hand emotional and psychological bankruptcy of a society where precariously unbalanced sex ratio has created a morally instable society. India is one of the few countries in the world and also where women and men have nearly the same life expectancy at birth. Certainly history of women is not one of unrelieved misery.
Ex UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had stated, "Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance."
This recognition is currently mislaid. Transforming the prevailing social discrimination against women must become the top priority, and must happen concurrently with increased direct action to rapidly improve the social and economic status of women. In this way, a synergy of progress can be achieved.
 As women receive greater education and training, they will earn more money.
 As women earn more money - as has been repeatedly shown - they spend it in the further education and health of their children, as opposed to men, who often spend it on drink, tobacco or other women.
 As women rise in economic status, they will gain greater social standing in the household and the village, and will have greater voice.
 As women gain influence and consciousness, they will make stronger claims to their entitlements - gaining further training, better access to credit and higher incomes - and command attention of police and courts when attacked.
 As women’s economic power grows, it will be easier to overcome the tradition of "son preference" and thus put an end to the evil of dowry.
 As son preference declines and acceptance of violence declines, families will be more likely to educate their daughters, and age of marriage will rise.
 For every year beyond 4th grade that girls go to school, family size shrinks 20%, child deaths drop 10% and wages rise 20%.
 As women are better nourished and marry later, they will be healthier, more productive, and will give birth to healthier babies.
Only through action to remedy discrimination against women can the vision of India's independence — an India where all people have the chance to live health and productive lives — be realized.
India is notorious for its abysmal health services leading to very high infant and maternal mortality rates. Desire for male progeny has caused natural unevenness and numerous problems for women. Nobody will be surprised to learn that having at least one son is associated with a statistically significant and substantively important reduction in the risk of marital disruption among Indian women at lower parities. The relationship between marital dissolution and the sex composition of children is unlikely to change in the near future, despite economic development, increased urbanization and women's educational advances .In India, where sons have traditionally been strongly preferred to daughters, low-parity women with no sons have a significantly elevated risk of having their marriage dissolve.
And the reasons for poor health we can easily blame the issues like reproductive health, violence against women, nutritional status, unequal treatment of boys and girls, and HIV/AIDS besides plenty of others. A simple solution can be seen which includes communication, awareness.
Women have low level of both education and formal labour force participation; they typically have little autonomy, living under the control of first their fathers, then their husbands and finally their sons. I’m sure these do have a negative impact on the health status of Indian women.
When asked by a village women exactly why do they love their husband 90 % of them say “because if I don’t, he will beat me” such a woman rarely has a control over fertility .Fertility is tangled with women’s health and reducing fertility is an important element in improving the health of a women . It is distressing as this can be prevented of proper health care facilities of the states are checked upon…..
Few pregnant women receive care or parental care. A woman's health, especially among the poor and illiterate, is often neglected not just by her family but by the woman herself. She is taught not to complain and if she does then she is directed either to use condiments in the kitchen or try faith healing. The women of MP are no exception. Reducing the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) by three-quarters in 10 years is now a Millennium Development Goal. Why is MMR in so high and how far are we from the goal? We can unravel the many challenges to save mothers' lives as it requires is just a little effort and concern. There is a total neglect of a mother's health. The situation is disgusting because a big chunk of all this is preventable. The medical establishment is busy with micronutrients but that is not the answer. Giving one iron tablet to a woman during her pregnancy is too late. One of the 5 maternal death is related to easily treated problems -ie anemia which is curable .The real problem is food. It is all about food, the cost of food and the nutrition content therein. These pregnant women have to fetch the water, make fuel, work the buffaloes, etc., all on the measly amount of food they can afford. How can the nutritive intake be enough? It becomes a negative calorie balance. In short, what is needed goes beyond a medical solution.
To educate about the importance of the health is very important for enduring healthy pregnancy and safe child births. Majority of the births takes place at home because the so called Primary Health Care units are so dirty that infection will probably increase because of them is this the type of Institutional support required to bring down MMR. Women who think they have the good fortune of being close to a government hospital where care would be free is not true always at times they have to 'buy' a bed or sleep on the floor. She also had to 'buy' food. So much so that she even had to 'buy' washing services or wear soiled clothes. Last but not the least the child is not handed over until money is extorted from the family- with no medicines or follow-up monitoring either for her or the baby. Although deliveries in hospital and clinics are preferred, the facilities for conducting institutional deliveries in rural India are more or less non-existent. The mere infusion of funds the system doesn’t work
The awareness that a pregnant woman should be taken care of is just not there. The problem begins form the moment she reaches the hospital. This brings us to the next obstacle –transport- a big issue. Now with the training, the dais can recognize complications but the money to shift the patient to a hospital is still not there. It is appalling that we do not have EMS (emergency medical services) that is efficient and well staffed, we have to strengthen the PHC and an EMS Is that a guarantee for a safe delivery? Sadly, they do not run 24 hours ,the probability of an mother dying during childbirth is roughly 10 times while antenatal care is overriding in the prevention of pregnancy-related deaths, septic abortions are creepier. The abortions are performed by quacks. And even if the PHCs or district hospitals have MTP methods, the people opt for local help." Why? "It saves them money. These are very poor people and transport costs and medical costs can be saved by walking to a local quack. As a result there are a high number of abortion-related deaths which do not get reported under maternal mortality. Everybody only talks about deaths during the childbirth process.
Death during pregnancy due to post-partum bleeding or hemorrhage is common. The need for blood in such cases is imperative and access is less than best. We need to worry about the blood bank policy. Heavily driven by the HIV/AIDS lobby, they feel that somewhere the important issue of access to blood has been sacrificed for quality and safety since the policy makers are looking at it all from the AIDS perspective. HIV awareness is good, but blood banks need to be demystified and access and availability improved. It is a major concern. When it comes to donation, there is a common problem. There is a strange connection between men, caring for women, and giving blood. If the men have to pay a lot of money and go far to get blood for their wives, they just won't. And men will never give blood. They think 100 drops of blood equals one drop of semen and thus, giving blood is related to potency. And so many times, when women need blood, it is not available.
More than half of the children are malnourished. Malnourishment is prevalent in all the section of the society, poor nutrition among women begins from infancy and continues till lifetime. Women and girls are the last to eat in the family. This incomplete development poses a risk for women in by increasing the danger in deliveries.
Mother’s education is strongly related to children malnutrition and hence the cycle of the malnourishment never ends. Children of the illiterate mother are twice as likely to be undernourished. Last but not the least the excess of female deaths is the reason of discriminatory treatment girls and women receives as compared to boys and men. HIV/AIDS is a little understood epidemic which will have an effect on women’s health in coming years. Despite alarming growth of the epidemics most women have very little knowledge of AIDS.
Every 5 min a violent crime against women is registered. In certain societies violence, is perceived as normal. Doctors ignore it by saying it culturally sensitive. It is detrimental to the economic development because it deprives the women in as a helping hand in the economy of his house. Studies in Indian villages have shown that raising rural women incomes increase the household income but vice versa with men as men will spend on liquor and tobacco not on their families Violence is a serious health issue.
The most media sensationalized type of violence is the violence against women in India is dowry death either she is burnt or beaten which is again a health issue. They actually have nowhere to turn as the crimes against them are domestic and women have limited resources as they are mostly uneducated. Generally police has not been helpful and very little community support is available thus many victims of domestic violence remain in abusive situations.
Speeches for the advancement of women and adequate budgetary provision to meet the objectives was declared along with the `Mother and Child protection card' for new born children, pregnant women and lactating mothers by our CM . But the ground reality is somewhat deplorable. The health seminars are restricted to the air-conditioned rooms only.
Health care provided by the state is a right of the citizen’s as per the Constitution and women should assert their right to access health care from nearby state dispensaries .Women should be informed and well communicated as ignorance leads to nowhere.
It is heartening that the central government spending on public healthcare -- which currently stands at an abysmal 0.9% of GDP (one of the five lowest in the world) -- will be increased to 2-3% of GDP and so will our state. It is great that there will be three times the amount available today for a sector that needs it badly, but one must plug the holes first. No point pouring all that money into a leaky vessel. Madhya Pradesh is facing a negligent, cruel and corrupt healthcare system. When the conduct of hospital staff is questioned, they face retaliation instead of accountability.
With bribes, these so-called doctors can get posted to any area they want regardless of what is actually required there. Instead of orthopedist an obstetrician is posted. Human resource management in the health sector seems to be a big issue. We need trained people in PHCs. And people with the right training.
Corruption is not a new problem. Even if the most sophisticated PHC is right across the road the ward boy needs to be bribed with Rs 50 to wheel the mother into the operation theatre and another Rs 100 to wheel her to the ward and most cannot afford that, this final layer is the most important and toughest one to correct. " Bad governance”. The real problem is not technological care but simply what I call the epidemic of corruption in the health services. And this is not just in the public healthcare sector; the private is just as frightening. The private hospitals are mercenaries too. Good accreditation, accountability, good monitoring, and honest reporting are the only things that will actually bring down MMR, given the other necessities are taken care of. There is rampant corruption in procurement people end up spending huge amounts due to over-prescription of medicines that should be free to them. This is the real problem and no amount of infrastructure improvement will bring down MMR if governance is not improved Increasing health spending.
An "Indian Man" is after all made in part by a Woman too. It's amusing to hear that she is sometimes called the 'other woman'! A reality check seems to indicate that she is "the Woman", the one woman who has the greatest influence on him and she is both the 'Mother and middle of most family battles"!
The health of mothers is directly related to a child's health and without due attention to the causes behind high maternal mortality ratios, we are ignoring an important determinant of the health of our nation. In doing so, we may be running the risk of damaging our chances for all-encompassing prosperity. The time has come to give women due place in the society to our mothers, sisters and daughters. To those who make your homes, nurture your children, shape and mould the citizens of tomorrow.
Therefore, I am convinced that the empowerment of women must begin at the very beginning itself, even before birth. The unacceptable crime of female foeticide, being encouraged by the widespread misuse of modern technology and its mindless commercial exploitation must be stopped. This dastardly social phenomenon must be socially boycotted and legally punished
We must therefore try to restore balance by protecting the life of the girl child from conception, by investing in the nourishment and education of the girl child and in the empowerment of women by taking care of their education and health.
However much a mother may love her children, it is all but impossible for her to provide high-quality child care if she herself is poor and oppressed, illiterate and uninformed, anaemic and unhealthy, has five or six other children, lives in a slum or shanty, has neither clean water nor safe sanitation, and if she is without the necessary support either from health services, or from her society, or from the father of her children.
The odds are stacked heavily against her right from conception to the moment she breathes her last. But ever so often women in India break free of the shackles of tradition and prejudice that fix them in defined roles to take on - and conquer - male bastions. The highest national priority must be the unleashing of woman power in governance. That is the single most important source of societal energy that we have kept corked for half a century.
It all comes down to political will, even for saving a mother….


  1. The Indian constitution grants women equal rights with men, but strong patriarchal traditions persist, with women’s lives shaped by customs that are centuries old. In most Indian families, a daughter is viewed as a liability, and she is conditioned to believe that she is inferior and subordinate to men. Sons are idolized and celebrated. May you be the mother of a hundred sons is a common Hindu wedding blessing.

    good to c u concern

  2. "parents’ reluctance to educate daughters has its roots in the situation of women. Parents have several incentives for not educating their daughters. Foremost is the view that education of girls brings no returns to parents and that their future roles, being mainly reproductive and perhaps including agricultural labor, require no formal education. As more and more boys are engaged in education, there is a growing reliance on the labor of girls. Girls are increasingly replacing their brothers on the farm while carrying on their usual responsibilities in housework. A large proportion of the roughly 40 million "nonworking" girls who are not in school are kept at home because of responsibilities in housework."
    The role of parents is to deliver a chaste daughter to her husband’s family. Sonalde Desai goes on to point out that "another disincentive for sending daughters to school is a concern for the protection of their virginity. When schools are located at a distance, when teachers are male, and when girls are expected to study along with boys, parents are often unwilling to expose their daughters to the potential assault on their virginity."
    There is little response to counter these obstacles: school hours remain inflexible to the labor demands of girls; many villages do not have a school; and fewer than 1/3 of India’s primary and middle-school teachers are women.

  3. There is invisibility of women’s work in our country.
    Women’s work is rarely recognized.
    Many maintain that women’s economic dependence on men impacts their power within the family. With increased participation in income-earning activities, not only will there be more income for the family, but gender inequality should be reduced. This issue is particularly salient in India because studies show a very low level of female participation in the labor force. This under-reporting is attributed to the frequently held view that women’s work is not economically productive.
    In a report of the National Commission on Self-Employed Women and Women in the Informal Sector, the director of social welfare in one state said, "There are no women in any unorganized sector in our state." When the Commission probed and asked, "Are there any women who go to the forest to collect firewood? Do any of the women in rural areas have cattle?" the director responded with, "Of course, there are many women doing that type of work." Working women are invisible to most of the population.
    If all activities — including maintenance of kitchen gardens and poultry, grinding food grains, collecting water and firewood, etc. — are taken into account, then 88 percent of rural housewives and 66 percent of urban housewives can be considered as economically productive.
    Women’s employment in family farms or businesses is rarely recognized as economically productive, either by men or women. And, any income generated from this work is generally controlled by the men. Such work is unlikely to increase women’s participation in allocating family finances. In a 1992 study of family-based texile workers, male children who helped in a home-based handloom mill were given pocket money, but the adult women and girls were not.

  4. good to see the article and the concern.

  5. So for the mother's sake the child was dear, and dearer was the mother for the child.

  6. health department is the most corrupt dpt of MP .