In Khajwa village in Madhya Pradesh, Raju and his wife Poonam earn their livelihood through farming and animal husbandry. Being the youngest daughter-in-law in the family, Poonam had to do all the household chores, look after their cattle and spend the remaining time in farming.
It was as a part of CARE India’s MPNP program that Rajni Tiwari and Kaushalya Patel visited Raju’s house. A nutrition volunteer and an anganwadi Worker, they counselled Poonam on pregnancy care. However, when Poonam got pregnant, her mother in law restricted her from going to the anganwadi center and receiving vaccines. Raju, on the other hand, was willing to take Poonam to the anganwadi center and attend the meetings arranged by CARE India. Raju says that those meetings helped them know each other better and developed a knowledge on healthy diet, lifestyle, routine. As a result, Poonam today has a say in decision-making in her family and a husband who helps her in doing household chores and taking care of children.
With a series of meetings on gender, the MPNP project has now created awareness amongst the villagers on how to take care of a pregnant woman by keeping her mentally and physically healthy, bridging the communication gap between the her and her husband, giving her a say in important decisions, making sure that she takes vaccines at regular intervals and providing her the household help she needs.
A changed man, Raju is now a role model for other men in the village. He makes sure to have discussions on proper nutrition and family health with people in the village and advices them to take care of their children and support the wives with the household chores. Raju says that “A little bit of help and support will go a long way in improving the health of both the mother and child.”
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