I 266. (October 1, 2019) : Maya breaks the norm

When you start talking about things that no one else talks about (as they are considered as taboos) you break the norm and step towards the path of breaking conventions and breaking hierarchy.

Maya Devi’s story is one such story where she not only talked about menstruation in public but also educated her daughter about proper menstrual health and hygiene.

“I want to be a part of the solution to break this cycle. Let’s empower women today and tomorrow across the globe to live their best lives!”

Coming from a very conservative family, a small village of Kachaunda in Rahi Block, Raebareli district. Maya’s parents never talked about “such bad things”. She used cloth during her periods. She was married off at an early age of 18 and had been to school only till class 5th.

Life began to change when Maya joined Ma Thane Swami Self-help group in the year 2006. 

Regular meetings, savings, training, and discussions on topics of health and agriculture enhanced Maya’s skills and personality. She started going out, interacting with people, went to Banks, etc.

She took out the money from her SHG on various occasions –

  1. Rs 500 for a shop
  2. Rs 3000 for daughter’s school fees
  3. Rs 20,000 for agricultural purposes
  4. Rs 3000 for purchasing a buffalo
  5. Rs 30,000 for reconstructing her house
  6. Rs 25,000 for putting a roof over the house

Apart from financial gains, her SHG provided her with a platform to enhance her knowledge of the prevalent issue of health and agriculture.

With proper compost making techniques, jevamrit, SRI and SWI techniques she produced 16 quintals of Wheat from 16 biswa of land.

“I learned a lot from my SHG. To learn these things, first I had to UNLEARN most of the things. I unlearned the practice of using cloth during my periods. I make sure now my daughter uses pads. I made her join a Young Woman Self Help Group where she could learn these things in detail. I want my daughter to benefit from her YWSHG from a young age. Currently, my daughter is doing BA. I am committed to helping educate girls and women across my village and other places so that they can make informed choices and stand up for themselves.”