Kamla, beneficiary of Smiley Days
Huge greetings from Indian Dreams Foundation!
IDF is elated to come up with the story of a remarkable change in the life of a woman named Smt. Kamla (name changed) who is one of our beneficiaries.
Kamla, 34 years old women, is a resident of an Urban slum in the locality ‘Kotli Bagichi’, Devri Road, Agra District, India. She has five children. She works in an Anganbadi Centre and earns Rs 2,000 per month. Her husband is labour earning Rs. 4,000 a month. He is an alcoholic and spends all his income on liquor.
Kamla was an orphan and had six siblings. She used to live with her grandparents. Owing to their weak financial crisis and weak health her grandparents got her married at the age of 15 years, her husband was18 years of age at that time. She was just a class 8thpass out at that time. After marriage, her education came to a halt. When she started menstruating post-marriage, she was muddled. According to her” I did not know anything about periods. At that time, neither did I have money nor information to buy a sanitary napkin. I was told to use a cloth by my sister-in-law”. She used to use an old cloth, which was hardly washed cleanly.
Moreover,at such a tender age, she gave birth to a baby boy, who passed away four months after birth. After which the going got tougher for her. She was continuously harassed both mentally and physically by her in-laws to give birth to a son. After five years she gave birth to a girl child who was unacceptable by her in-laws. After that, more mental and physical harassment followed. After two years, she gave birth to a son. However, her harassment did not stop. Her husband though being a class 10th pass out is a continuous perpetrator. Kamla, faces continuous violence, including sexual violence, psychological and emotional abuse. Her husband did not cooperate her financially and was not even interested in sending his children to school. She lived in an awful condition combined with unhygienic menstrual practices.
On a survey being conducted under project ‘Smiley Days ‘ of Indian Dreams Foundation', we came to know about Kamla's condition. So, an extensive counselling of her, her husband and in-laws followed. She was made to attend regular workshops under project 'Smiley Day’s where she came to know about the scientific process of menstruation, its importance and safe menstrual practices. She was also made aware regarding SRHR(Sexual Reproductive Health Rights). She learned that menstruation is not a monthly disaster but, a matter of pride as it reflects an overall well being.
Such was the impact of our efforts on Kamla that her life changed utterly. She started maintaining proper menstrual hygiene and also encouraged her daughter to do the same. All this led to the reduction of her menstrual woes. This encouraged her a lot and once timid and shy Kamla has now turned into an ambitious and happy woman. Now she resists violence created by her husband and arranges for police intervention.
She has also started working on empowering other women in her community under the designation of ‘Roshini Didi' given by the team IDF. She has embarked on a journey of creating menstrual awareness and aims to shatter all menstrual taboos by spreading awareness in her community. IDF is also getting the education of her kids sponsored under 'Honhar Ladki Program’. According to her “IDF has given wings to my dreams. Now I feel the urge to help other unaware women in my community. So, I continuously interact with them on their menstrual troubles, makes them attend the smiley days workshops and accompanies them to a gynaecologist regarding their troubles”.
IDF is elated to see such a massive change in the life of Kamla and believes that it is these women who can shine and break the conventions from left, right and centre.
Kindly, keep on garnering your full support to us, so that IDF can march ahead and create more and more impact stories.
Kamla attending training session