CHANGING NORMS THROUGH ACTION(FAMILY PLANNING)
Mumtaz, (name changed) 18 years old married girl was sexually abused by her own father in law in
April 2015. She has shared this painful incident to her mother but her mother was threatened that if
she shares this information they will make sure they will be asked to leave the place and no one
will believe them. For one year Mumtaz’s mother and family lived under this threat and did not
share this information to anyone. They were living under continuous threat and anxiety. One year
later, her mother revealed this information to the one of the core committee member of Bhiwandi
Mahila Vikas Sanstha from the core committee member case was immediately referred for further
intervention at Awazz- e Niswaan NGO ( http://www.niswaan.org/) crisis counseling center.
Trauma Counseling and Family counseling was provided in this case with the help of counselor.
Trust and assurance of confidentiality and safety were ensured. With the help of Awazz- e Niswaan
NGO, an F.I.R was immediately registered and accused was immediately arrested. Charge sheet
has been filed in this case and presented in the court.
Mumtaz’s statement has been recorded in the court.
Awazz- e Niswaan NGO and BMVS members are now following up with her legal case and
provides regular counseling to her and her family members.
Meet Ms. Parveen Sheikh (Name Changed)
32-year-old Parveen says - “Yes, I am the one! I am using a copper-T. My mother-in-law didn’t approve of it initially and neither did my husband. They would tell me that inserting the copper IUD as a means of birth control was a sin. "
Parveen, who belongs to a minority/Muslim community in Gayatri Nagar, Bhiwandi also told us that, “Bachat Sangathan didi (SHG staff) used to counsel me to use some method of family planning, as I already had 4 children. The feeling of helplessness was bothering me but I also wanted to respect my family’s wishes. I took a stand and started using a copper-T.
I told my husband: let’s try this for 5 years. After that, if we feel we
need for more children, we can go ahead If not, we think of sterilization.”
It is not uncommon in the Muslim community to have 4-6 children, and maybe even more in some cases. However, what is overwhelming and heartening to see is the desire of women now, to make healthy lifestyle changes and seek better practices.
Presently, the women from the Muslim minority have realized
the importance of FP methods and speak vociferously against the traditional mindset. Many women of Gayatri Nagar, Nadi Naka, are empowered today to take charge of their own reproductive and maternal health and encouraging others too.