Pushparani and Ishu with Family Members
Pushparani lives in a small village near Delhi. She was married to Pankaj after finishing the 10th grade and now lives with her parents-in-law and two brothers-in-law.
The community that Pushparani lives in, faces a lot of health issues. This is mainly due to unsafe hygienic practices in the community. Superstitious beliefs are also prevalent.
Immediately after delivery, mothers are not allowed to take any food. Rather, they must only drink jaggery (traditional unrefined sugar) water. Institutional delivery is not practiced here. Delivery is attended to by midwives at home.
Before Pushparani was registered into the Child Survival Program (CSP), she delivered a child at home, but the infant was not breathing. They rushed to the local hospital, tragically the baby had already died.
After a few months, Pushparani became pregnant again and during the third trimester of the second pregnancy, she was fortunate enough to be registered in CSP. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. The family rejoiced over the birth of the child, but their joy did not last long. When the baby was two months old, she became sick with pneumonia and brain fever. With the help of CSP staff, she was rushed to the hospital, but again, the baby did not survive.
Pushparani went through a great depression. Owing to superstitious beliefs, her mother-in-law planned to get her son married to another woman. These plans were overheard by Pushparani and she desperately wanted to end her life, but the staff counseled her and prevented her from taking such a grave step.
It is painful to be without a child in her community as neighbors and other community members would speak ill of Pushparani. She found it difficult to accept what others would say about her. The prayer that she learned in the project helped her seek God every day. And her prayers were answered. She conceived again and remained in the CSP program.
Pushparani was supported right from the first month of her pregnancy, and received vegetables, fruits and other health drinks to supplement her diet. All her medical expenses were taken care of by the CSP project, so she stayed in good health and had a normal delivery in the hospital; she gave birth to a baby boy and named him Ishu so that she could remember the almighty God whenever she calls her son.
Pushparani says, “The CSP taught me about the need for personal hygiene, and how to maintain my son’s health through simple hygienic practices while cooking, doing other household chores, and caring for him. I also learned the value of breastfeeding my son, how to feed him and how to wean him gently. I also learned that this is the time that mother and child develop deep bonds of affection and love.”
With tears in her eyes, Pushparani says, “I owe what I am today to Compassion’s CSP program. Had I not been in CSP, I would have ended my life. I am alive and it’s because of the intervention of CSP. Compassion has blessed us immensely and the biggest blessing is what I have learned about God and his care for us.
Learn more about Compassion International's Child Survival Program