Women are usually not employed in the iron ore mining belt in Goa due to the nature and intensity of work, says the study. Nor do they have alternative employment opportunities. As mining dump materials overflow on river banks and pile up on fertile lands rendering them unusable, ponds and streams become foul. Mining makes the ground unfit for agriculture, an occupation that women can engage in. The stench of their helplessness is alive in these parts.
I write about a new research study that talks about women in Goa’s mining communities and their health problems in my column at Bangalore Mirror.
We’ve been having a timely and crucial conversation on sexuality education over at Ultra Violet. As part of this, I interviewed Prabha Nagaraj of TARSHI (Talking about Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues). TARSHI is a Delhi-based NGO that works on sexuality with an affirmative and rights-based approach. It runs an infoline on topics related to sexual and reproductive health, HIV, contraceptive choices, sexual and gender identities, violence, safety and pleasure. The organisation is also involved in training, advocacy and research. Read the interview here.
SEARCH, a set on Flickr.
Dr Abhay Bang and Dr Rani Bang’s medical centre in rural Gadchiroli which caters to Adivasis in the region is an inspiring place. They also train community health workers to provide home-based neo-natal care. What struck me about the place was an air of peace, the absence of the oppressive sort of smell that hangs over most hospitals. The complex is open and green. There’s lots of space between the buildings which are all built in the local style. There are people doing some regular, non-hospital type things like praying at the temple near the entrance or hanging washing out on the line. There’s a kids playground. It’s an overwhelmingly positive place despite the wide range of illnesses that must pass through its corridors.
Some time back, I interviewed Dr Aparna Hegde of Armman and wrote about their mobile solution for pregnant women in rural India. The feature ‘Mobile friends for healthy mothers’ is up at Infochangeindia.org. Do read.
“We’re hoping that this technology will help us reach more women,” says Naseem Shaikh, Project Director, SSP. “Many women cannot take time out from work to attend counselling sessions. They work in the fields from morning to evening.”
In the absence of counselling, misconceptions abound. Women do not know how to care for themselves and their unborn child. “They don’t eat, don’t take tablets on time,” says Shaikh. “When they have morning sickness in the first trimester, they are not able to describe their problems to the health worker. They just stop eating. Then people tell them iron and calcium tablets will make the baby too heavy so they stop taking the tablets.”