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“I am Soni, wife of Mr. Ashok Kumar. I belong to Village Bharahapara of Wajirganj block of Gonda district and belong to an extreme socially and economically poor community of Scheduled Caste category. I joined my SHG named Kamal Mahila three years back. My SHG has Rs.29700 as a corpus. Since joining, we went through several pieces of training and capacity building activities. We have a very strong Gram Sangathan named “Ugata SurajMahila” consisting of eight women SHGs and three Young Women SHGs.

I would strongly recommend every newly delivered mother to give KMC to their newborn, I am emphasizing on this “life-saving skill” because I have experienced it very closely. I am a sufferer of “premature delivery” and had given birth to a male child on my 7th month of pregnancy.

Among the many training, we received was training on “Safe Motherhood” in many phases. ISC Sarita Didi and Sulochana Didi always facilitated me to go through all the desired check-ups during my Pregnancy in VHNDs. Apart from all the check-ups, I have consumed more than 150 IFA tablets but I did not take Calcium since it does not suit me and even availability was also an issue.

During SHG and VO meetings we have had repeated training on KMC (Kangaroo Mother Care). While going through the scheduled check-ups, some complication was observed. I consulted a Doctor in Gonda. In an ultrasound report, they found a tumor was also developing simultaneously with the fetus. In the initial days of the seventh month, discharge of water also started. On 27th December 2018, I immediately rushed to the identified Hospital and went under operation and gave birth to a male child. The baby was very weak and underweight. The doctor was doubtful of hits survival but I started applying KMC, and slowly found good results.

“Now my child is good, responding well and I am breastfeeding him frequently as directed in the training. I have saved my child. I am feeling so happy”

Her learning about preventive health care through the SHG training saved her child. Kangaroo Mother Care is a research outcome in public health. RGMVP promotes this extensively through its SHGs. SHGs always discussed how Kangaroo Mother Care could save children. In a critical situation, Soni practiced it and saved her child. Her SHG supported her financially two. Earlier she had taken a loan of Rs. 2,000 from SHG for agricultural purpose.  For her delivery, she had taken Rs. 8,000 as a loan from SHG as she had to be operated.

Pankaj Srivastava, February 2019