Manju is a member of Mahima Mahila self-help group of Dhurwara village, Dalmau block, in Raebareli District. She joined her SHG in 2018.
Manju is an 8th class pass. She couldn’t complete her education due to the financial constraints of her family. She got married at an early age. Not having knowledge about maternal health, Manju lost her first child soon after conceiving it. “That was the time when I first realized the importance of education and proper awareness about issues like health. Had I been aware, I wouldn’t have lost my child due to my carelessness.”

After joining the SHG, through meetings and discussions on maternal and neonatal health care practices, Manju garnered knowledge about best practices of breastfeeding, correct positioning, Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), Complementary feeding etc. She considers this to be her biggest learning. “When I joined my SHG, I came to know about danger signs during pregnancy, what a mother should eat, calcium and iron tablets, maternal health, and nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding, etc. I got to know about different types of vaccinations and the importance of it. During my second pregnancy I followed all these points, and today my child is fit and healthy.”

Apart from information, Manju also gained financial support from her self-help group. She took money from her SHG on various occasions –
1. Rs 1500 for purchasing a goat
2. Rs 10,000 for agricultural purposes
3. Rs 5000 for purchasing a cow
4. Rs 3000 for buying a sewing machine
Manju now is an independent, self-aware, confident woman who induced correct behavior change health practices among her family members. And all these changes came through within a short period.

Dhirendra and Sara