After joining the GRAVIS team for eight weeks I wanted to dedicate my last BLOG Post to the physician Dr. Vasundhera Tyagi I met during my first visit to the GRAVIS hospital.
Besides her activities as a doctor, like supervising pregnancies and treating different diseases, Dr. Vasundhera can also provide a great mental support for many women living in the rural areas.
During my visit Dr. Vasundhera invited Mamta to spend some time with us. Mamta is a 17-year old girl living close to the GRAVIS hospital. She regularly visits the hospital to talk to Dr. Tyagi. Mamta stopped attending school already nine years ago. Since Mamta was 14, she knows whom she is going to marry. Next year, after she turned 18, they will get married and Mamta will move in with her husband and his parents. Since her husband never attended school her parents in law will most likely not let her continue her education. For that reason Mamta currently does not see any reason for going back to school.
When Mamta started to visit the GRAVIS Hospital with her mother and friends, she did not have any future plans at all. Together they started to speak about the remaining options for her to independently plan her life. Mamta started to learn how to stich clothes recently. Due to that she can stay financially independent from her husband and maintain partly autonomous. During our conversation I appreciated Mamta as a very intelligent and autonomously thinking young women. She wanted to learn a lot from me about the life in Germany and especially about women and family structures.
Getting awareness is in my opinion the most important step to a more independent future for many women in the Thar desert. Mamta for example will encourage her younger siblings and cousins to go to school instead of taking care of the household. Due to Mamtas awareness about the medical care during a pregnancy one of her cousins recently delivered her baby at the GRAVIS hospital, instead of at home. Otherwise, it could have been a major risk for the mother and the child.
GRAVIS organizes health-camps in remoted villages to provide medical care for those people who cannot afford coming to the hospital. On the occasion of those health camps Dr. Vasundhera can speak to many different women and her work not only has a positive impact on the women’s health conditions, but also on their self-confidence and their way to a more independent future.
I was glad to see the long-range influences of Dr. Vasundhera’s work and hope that her work will reach many other women in the future.
*by Lisa, Volunteer