Chotka – Getting over superstitious beliefs

Name – Chotka

Village – Lakhora

SHG – Saraswati Mahila Swayam Sahayta Samooh

Village Organisation – Khushi Mahila Gram Sanghatan

Block – Haroyasatgharva

District – Balrampur

Chotka has been a part of her SHG since 1.5 year. Being a part of Self Help Group she acquired a lot of knowledge on health. Chotka recalls an incident when she was at her home with her new-born. Her mother in law was grinding turmeric, when RGMVP’s Community Resource Development Institute (CRDI) Gangotri Devi, and Internal Social Capital Health (ISC) Shri Devi were passing by. They were doing a health survey, when they stopped by Chotka’s house as they saw her mother in law.

The CRDI asked chotka’s mother in law, why was she grinding the turmeric? To which she replied “I am going to apply this paste on the new born’s belly button, as it will help the umbicial cord to dry and come off.”

The CRDI asked Chotka and her mother in law, to sit together as she took out a pamphlet and started describing it to them. The CRDI and ISC mentioned that putting anything on the belly button would create infection and her child could also get ill. They also imparted information on Kangroo Mother Care (KMC), how it is done and importance of it for the child. Chotka undertook her advice and didn’t apply anything. She also gave her child KMC.

Later, when the ISC again visited her village, she met Chotka and enquired. Chotka said that she didn’t apply anything, and the umbical cord dried on its own. She also thanked the ISC for imparting her such an important piece of information, and shattering her lifelong superstitious myth. Now her child is healthy and fit.

It is only through RGMVP that these myths are being broken day by day. We are gaining knowledge that we hadn’t known before, be it regarding maternal health, agriculture, financial literacy or family planning.

Pankaj Srivastava