January 14, 2009 10:39:06 am
At a time when majority of TV soap operas are trying to cash in on TRP ratings by portraying endless ‘Saas-Bahu’ sagas,depicting both parties conspiring against each other,Uttar Pradesh government has undertaken a diametrically opposite exercise to promote harmony between them.
The state government has launched an ambitious scheme in which health department officials are playing the role of counsellors giving valuable tips to ‘saas’ and ‘bahus’ on how to better their personal relationships and mutual communication.
“We are organising conferences of daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law in every district of the state,to provide them a platform where they can communicate with each other and resolve personal differences,if any,” State Health Secretary Rajiv Kapur said.
The objective of the programme,funded through National Rural Health Mission (NRHM),is to motivate mothers-in-law to take better care of their pregnant daughters-in-law.
It has been observed that mutual communication between a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law is missing on important issues relating to their family,the secretary claimed.
“Often mothers-in-law don’t pay much attention to their daughters-in-law during pregnancy period which is vital from the health point of view,” he said.
Kapur said through these conferences,an effort is being made to educate elderly female members of a family as to how to take care of a pregnant woman.
“This also implies in the case of family planning,as in rural areas,women are often pressurised by the elderly members of the family to raise more and more kids.
“The first step is to encourage discussion between the two parties. While mothers-in-law are being encouraged to interact more with their daughters-in-law,the latter are being asked to consult the former,” the health secretary said.
To mobilise the ‘saas-baahus’ to attend the conferences,the department has roped in Asha workers and auxiliary mid-wives (ANMs).
“Asha workers and ANMs are coming in handy as they are in regular contact with womenfolk and can motivate them to attend the conference,” Kapur said.
Besides pregnancy,the conferences are also aimed at addressing varied issues related to girls,he said.
“Efforts are being made to highlight the issue of gender bias towards girls,which is very important from reproductive health point of view,” he said.
So far,such conferences have been organised in over a dozen districts in the state.
“The programme was launched last month and a number of districts have already been covered. The response so far is overwhelming. More than 4,000 people attended a conference organised in Lakhimpur district last week,” Kapur said.
He said considering the success rate of the scheme,the government now plans to extend it at the micro level.
“We intend to organise such events at block and tehsil levels,but a final decision would be taken at a later stages,” he added.
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