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Delhi workshop 2 synoptic report

Collaborating NGO: Action India, New Delhi

Dates: 10-12 Aug 1998

Venue: Gandhi Peace Foundation, Delhi

9 dais (All were from Jehangirpuri, Delhi)
9 Action India workers
5 Matrika team members
2 Resource persons
1 Observer


Sessions During Workshop:

Day 1 -- 10.8.98
Expectations of the dais from the workshop
Difficult Births: Small group discussions

Day 2 -- 11.8.98
Reporting Body Mapping and Role Play: Post Partum changes in woman's body: Discussion in small groups, sharing in the whole group
Session with Resource Persons, Leela Caleb and Anuradha Singh
Slide Show-' Images of Woman's body' Aurat Ki shakti and Who is a Good dai? Discussion in small groups

Day 3 -- 12.8.98
dai Training: Discussion in small groups
Concluding Session

  1. Knowledge, Skills & Practices Before Birth
    1. Tara : If dal is kacha and if you keep stirring it then it will get titar (perhaps spoiled). If pains are kacha and I ask the woman to apply force then bacha dani will come out. If we put pressure on the belly from early on then also the bacha dani can come out. I never hurry. (p.11 of workshop report)
    2. Pushpa: I have seen it when people have called me. If it has opened one finger then the time has not come. Then we ask them to call at four- eight and then to call after twelve hours. It opens one finger after four hours. We tell the time according to this calculation. When pains will increase then mouth will open. (p.16)
    3. Madhu: You were saying something about spreading the raakh.(p.22)
      1. Pushpa: Yes, they spread so that the blood gets soaked.
      2. Kamala: We do not spread raakh but paddy hay.
    4. Tara: We explain to the family members and say give milk not tika. If you affectionately explain it to Jacha then she understands. We were told in the training not to give sui. (p.50)
    5. Tara: If Jacha gets scared then we tell her that by giving ghee we have delivered eight babies and did not give any tika. Then they say at your time amma, ghee was good. We make Jacha laugh.(p.50)

  2. Knowledge, Skills and Practices During Birth
    1. Kaushalya: The picture in which theJacha and the dai are sitting in front of each other. Jacha 's legs on the dai’s thighs is very correct. Jacha may be lying down, dai puts her legs against the thighs. (p.35)
    2. Dhapo: The dai holds the Jacha from the back. Jacha holds dai around the neck and applies force. (p.35)
    3. Kaushalya: In three pakka dard the baby is delivered. (p.12)
    4. Deepti: Is Jacha on a cot or on the floor? (p.12)
      1. i) Tara: It depends on the house. If she is poor then she lies down on the floor.What to do? (p.12)
    5. Munni: I had my baby on bricks. This way you can put pressure very nicely. It is not that easy while lying on a cot. (p.12)
    6. Pushpa: When the latrine ki jagah (anus) opens fully then the baby is ready to come out. The last pain in which the woman screams, in that pain the baby comes out. (p.35)
    7. Dhapo: Lohe ka kanta (forceps) may hurt the head. (p.35)
    8. Tara: From our side we believe that the delivery happens smoothly if there is no shouting. (p.39)
    9. Praveen: I have delivered my own son. I was feeling very shy. I squatted on the bricks holding the cot. Before this I drank powdered sonth and ajwain with milk. In one and a half hours the baby was delivered. The baby boy started screaming. My mother came running. I said cut the naal please. (p.18)
    10. Pushpa: In Hindu Rao hospital I delivered my baby, on my own. It was my seventh child, I had given birth at home earlier, but this time I had a fight with my dai, so I decided to go to hospital. I took a three-wheeler and reached there, in the morning. The nurses were here and there, meanwhile I had my baby. I held the baby with my own hands. I called the nurses and said “The baby is out, come, otherwise I will throw it in the bucket”. (p.35)
    11. Rani: During the time of my last baby, I had taken lot of medicine because at first I had wanted to abort the child. A lot of heat had formed inside me. I showed this in many centres. Everyone said either you or your baby can be saved. On 15th August I delivered the baby alone at night. I spread a bori (gunny bag) on the floor. Spread a petticoat on top, and some torn clothes. We were in a jhuggi , there was no light connection then. Somehow I delivered the baby, but I lost consciousness. The baby was delivered and I was lying unconscious. My husband heard the cry of the baby. He had been asleep. He saw that the baby has come out. He got afraid. To cut the naal he called a nurse from 'G' block. Pushpa was also there. To revive me they said that I have had a girl. I got up, saw that it was a boy, again I fainted. (p.36)
    12. Naseem: At the birth of my grandchild the mouth had opened a little. I encouraged myBahu . The moment the head came, I applied oil and turned the baby with my hands and asked her to apply force and the baby was out. At the time of Anwal naal also I did the same thing. (p.36)

  3. Knowledge, Skills and Practices After Birth
    1. Tara: There are also ways to take out the Anwal. We press the belly and massage in circles. Then it comes out. (p.11)
    2. Naseem: After the Anwal naal is out, vagina is pressed with the heel. By this charhi hui nasein (veins that get pulled) settle. (p.14)
    3. Tara: A girl child was born. She had a thick white layer on her. I scraped it out with oil. Jacha used to eat multani mitti . Kacha Gola (raw coconut) is very good for Jacha . By eating this even the baby is born like a Gola (coconut). (p.11)
    4. Praveen: Gola is not blood. Gola is the rakhwala, the protector of the baby. When the baby comes out, it search for the baby, it goes around. Therefore there is pain. When it does not find the baby then it gets tired and defeated and settles down. (p.17)
    5. Pushpa: After eating this space gets filled up and slowly, the pain goes away. By eating pressure is applied, and it gets filled. With this the pain goes away. (p.17)
    6. Praveen: Amongst us, below the head side a Gola (coconut) is broken. By this the pain goes away. A small piece of Gola is given to the Jacha and the rest is distributed amongst people. (p.17)
    7. Dhapo: Even when it moves a little it is like pran nikal jata hai (one's life force is ebbing away). (p.18)
    8. Dhapo: The place from where it moves is pressed a lot. Then it stays on the side of the lower portion of the abdomen. (p.18)
    9. Kamala: Gola is baby’s home. When the house becomes empty, only ganda khoon is left. When blood will come out, then there will be pain. ajwain , sonth , pipar all this is pounded, mixed in boiling water and jaggery. If this is given to drink then the belly clears up. (p.18)
    10. Kamala: According to me, the baby is born. Then Gola roams around. This Gola takes care of the baby. If the pain is intense then warm fomentation is done of Gola and Gola pighal jata hai (melts away), this is maila, it gets cleaned and the gandh comes out.(p.24)
    11. Kaushalya: Whether you say Gola or you call it lothara (lump) or call it anything, it is inside the bacha dani . (p.24)
    12. Kamala: When I had a boy child then it gave terrible pain. A lot of fomentation was done of this Gola , it was squeezed . This is a blood gaanth (knot). (p.25)
    13. Kaushalya: And it is being asked that from where is Gola made, what is it? This is not made from anywhere. It is inside the belly, everything. (p.25)
    14. Renuka: Then after three-four days Gola settles in its place. (p.25)
    15. Everybody: Yes near the navel. (p.25)
    16. Kamala: It finishes completely, even a little is not left. (p.25)
    17. Tara: Gola roams around and by this mother’s mamta increases. It is said that it is looking for the baby. (p.27)
    18. Naseem: After the birth of the baby in the womb gabelan, Gola arises. This searches for the baby. It arises for three days. (p.27)
    19. Rani: There are four terms for it- gabelan, Gola , aag and mamta. (p.27)
    20. Rani: Warm fomentation is done of woman’s shareer. Warm brick pieces are put in a earthen pot and placed on the belly. By this the blood melts and comes out. (p.28)
    21. Tara: After the baby comes out, I move the belly of the woman in circles a lot. When it is set, the Gola comes out. It is to be done very skillfully. I saw one woman’s Gola , it was like a ball. It had jhilli all around. I got scared and thought that there is a second baby. I tried to tear this Gola with my hands, but could not do it. Then I cut it with scissors. Lot of ganda khoon came out. It was good that it did not break in the abdomen. (p.28)
    22. Kamala: If hawa goes inside then it makes lot of bhar-bhar sound. Therefore no hawa should be allowed to go inside the body. If for ten days maalish is done for the Jacha then no vayu (air) will go into her body and she will not have joint pains. Haldi, ajwain and neem leaves are made into a paste with water, mixed with oil and maalish is done with this. Fire is lit, and onion bhusi, garlic bhusi ,loban and hair, these four things are burnt, and the Jacha is given fomentation with its smoke. Then Jacha will never get white discharge. Her shareer dries up properly. Her periods will also be proper.(p.20)
    23. Vidya: If, while sitting, the woman does not give aidi dekar baithna (sits by putting her heel on the vagina) then inside hawa maregi hi maregi (hawa will definitely strike). (p.25)
    24. Munni: After the baby is born then the shareer is open. In our place a clean cloth is made into a thick pad, it is warmed and placed on the shareer. So that hawa does not go in. (p.25
    25. Vidya: Jacha is made to understand that when she gets up at the time of eating food then she sits by placing her heels on the shareer. (p.25)
    26. Kamala: There is one more way, bathing with warm water. After bathing lie down straight with a sheet on top. A woman should not sit on directly on the earth floor, she should put a plank below or spread a sheet on the floor and then sit on it.(p.25)
    27. Kaushalya: At the time of birth bacha dani ka munh opens fully. After the birth, the bacha dani goes on reducing in size very slowly for 25 days. (p.24)
    28. Vidya: It takes 40 days for the body to close. Accordingly, for two to two and a half months Jacha does not get back her strength. Before Jacha used to rest for 40 days or at least for 21 days surely, but these days it does not happen at all. (p.26)
    29. Kamala: Amongst us woman goes to mother’s house after bathing so that she gets rest. After eleven days she bathes and goes. (p.26)
    30. Vidya: Amongst us, for eleven days she is not bathed. On the third day also, she is just cleaned. Then on fifth or sixth day she is bathed. She is bathed properly only on the eleventh day. (p.26)
    31. Kamala: Amongst us, the baby is bathed after birth then next day the Jacha is bathed with warm water, her whole body gets fomentation. Her thighs and other parts are scrubbed and cleaned with cloth. By this the body becomes very soft. With fomentation the body will become strong. (p.26)
    32. Vidya: Amongst us she is not bathed because she might catch hawa . (p.26)
    33. Pushpa, Tara: [while drawing] After birth we shake the belly. Put our heel. And properly massage the belly in circles. By this the gandh (dirty stuff) comes in the centre. Then pain becomes less. Then clean cotton smeared with sharab or warm mustard oil is made into a foye (cotton is rolled like a pouch) and put inside. It is pressed with the heel. Till the gandh does not come out the bacha dani does not go to its place. By pressing with heels the gandh comes out. And the bacha dani settles. (p.27)
    34. Dhapo: The roots of baer shrub (berries) is pounded and boiled. Then it is poured in a utensil and Jacha is made to sit in it. By doing this, the bachadani settles back in its place. (p.27)
    35. Rani: It cannot settle immediately. Slowly, it contracts and on completing 40 days it closes. (p.27)

  4. Complications Before, During and After Birth
    1. Vidya: If bacha dani comes out, baby is out and bacha dani is also out then what do you do? (p.11)
    2. Tara: See, once the Anwal naalis out, take a clean cloth, dip it in sharab(alcohol) and then press the bacha dani inside. (p.11)
    3. Tara: Sometimes the thuddi (jaw) gets stuck. Once it happened with me. I held the legs of the baby and put my fingers below the thuddiand took it out with lot of care. (p.12)
    4. Sudha: Sometimes the baby becomes very heavy in the belly. Then what should be done? (p.13)
      1. Tara: In case of a heavy baby one should go to the hospital. It can become very difficult I cannot manage it.
      2. Sudha: What is the color of the water that comes out once the thaili (water bag) breaks? (p.13)
      3. Tara: It is usually colorless. Sometimes it is white. If green water comes out then it can be dangerous. If the thailibreaks on time then baby is delivered comfortably. If the thailibreaks earlier, then there might be problems. (p.13)
    5. Kaushalya: By drinking lassi (thinned curd), eating raw rice, chalk or multani mitti (white clay) the baby born is khushk (dry). (p.13)
    6. Sudha(Action India): One Jacha was squatting on bricks, holding on to a cot. On latrine ki jagah(on the rectum), they placed a thick piece of cloth and asked me to push it in the upward direction. By putting the cloth and applying force upwards, there is no bawasir (piles). Otherwise there is pressure over there and it gives a lot of problem. Because this nali is very soft. (p.15)
    7. Vidya Devi: The passage for the baby and the passage for the feces are very close. There is a fear that the passage of feces may tear. (p.15)
    8. Kamala: When the head of the baby comes low then if the buttocks are pressed then baby will rotate and come out. (p.15)
    9. Dhapo: See, this is the wonder of nature. At the time, when the baby is coming, even the tatti ka rasta bhi utar jata hai (also comes down). Its mouth widens. But baby cannot come out from there otherwise the woman will die. So a karotwani (cloth is rolled) is placed on the rectum with our heels. A lot of pressure is applied. By this the tatti ka rasta is raised up. (p.15)
    10. Vidya Devi: Don’t feel bad, but this happens because sui is given before time. There was a government dai who gave sui in kacha dard. She put so much of ghee and oil on her shareer by putting her hand, that at birth her passage of urine and the passage of shit became one, it got torn. Then it was stitched but the stitches also opened up. (p.20)
    11. Munni: Once the head of the baby got stuck. For four hours it stayed like that. Then I took her to the hospital. With a lot of difficulty the baby was delivered. (p.20)
    12. Vidya Devi: Usually I do not take on the case if the legs are coming. It is done only if I am called at ain time. In case the baby has a problem then we cut onion and make the baby smell it so that the baby breathes. (p.19)
    13. Praveen: I have not turned a baby, but my Dadi used to. (p.20)
      1. Renuka: Have you seen it? (p.20)
      2. Praveen: Yes, I have seen it myself. When the leg was down and the chuthar was coming out first my Dadi supported it. She kept on patting the Jacha , this would soothe her and she began thinking that the baby would become seedha. If the Jacha is told that the baby is ulta then from fear she may stop breathing. Therefore she would not tell the Jacha . If the baby 's body is not becoming seedha then she would try to turn the baby by pressing the stomach. If it did not turn then when Jacha 's shareer started opening then she would put her hand and try to make the baby seedha. (p.20)
    14. Pushpa: One baby’s hands were coming out. I put it in straight away and sent her to the hospital. (p.21)
    15. Vidya Devi: Sometimes a piece is left inside. Then also fever can happen. Doctor should be consulted. (p.21)
    16. Tara: If fomentation is done with ajwain pouches, the hawa does not affect the woman. There is no itching. (p.29)
    17. Madhu: When Anwal (placenta) comes out do you see that whole of it has come out. (p.21)
      1. Vidya Devi: Yes, we see if the chonch (beak) like portion has come out and then only we are satisfied. (p.21)
    18. Tara: When I see a case of shortage of blood then I don’t take it. I send the Jacha to the hospital. A nas (vein) of the woman opens. If that opens then immediately she is sent to the hospital. (p.30)
    19. Munni: If the baby is hanging outside and the naal is entangled? (p.32)
      1. Tara: I have done many cases like this. This happens very naturally. If the baby is inside and the naal hangs with the head then I put it on the side with my hand and receive the head. Loose naal is not cut. (p.32)
    20. Vidya: I have seen two cases. If Anwal naal is low then blood keeps coming out. (p.33)
    21. Sudha: In my first baby the naru(cord)got entangled. It had two three knots. Baby’s shit came out. Doctor gave injection and stopped the pain. Then, after asking me, through operation took out the baby. I want to know from you whether it was right or wrong. (p.13)
      1. Tara: That was an absolutely correct thing to do. The shit coming out inside can be very dangerous.
      2. Naseem: There was a case of twins. First baby was born properly. I did not know of the second baby. When the pains began again after ten minutes, then I came to know. It was not within my ability. I took her to Machali Wala hospital (popular name for Kasturba Gandhi hospital near Jama Masjid in Delhi). With chota (small) operation, a small cut (episiotomy), the second baby was taken out. (p.9)
    22. Munni Begum: Once there was a difficult case. The baby was stuck. The baby became blue. Baby’s head was showing. Baby’s naal (cord) was around the neck. I started shivering. Nature is also like this. Within me also a kind of pain arose. I made all the people around me go away. I put my heels on both sides of Jacha ’s shareer (vagina). Took oil and applied it around Jacha ’s shareer. Slowly, I was successful. The child and mother both are fine. (p.4)
    23. Naseem: I was getting pains. My husband was sleeping. At the time of birth I sat by leaning on the poles of mosquito nets. My badan (body) got a tear. Baby came out in the salwar itself. Baby was in its jhilli (membrane). I woke my husband and asked him to call a dai. My husband was getting angry. He says" what are you doing on your own, you will get all of us killed”. I said please call the dai. dai came and tore the jhilli otherwise the baby could have got asphyxiated. Then she saw there was a tear on my badan. Next day, I called a private nurse. She gave medicine and put stitches and then only it got all right. (p.11)
    24. Vidya and Tara: Sometimes babies even in seedha (head-down) position, are also delivered with lot of difficulty and we have to be courageous. Sometimes the baby’s head is very big so we have to be courageous. (p.40)
    25. Vidya: Many Jachas die if they keep on having a girl child. It has happened with me. One woman had a third girl baby. Her Nanad said," Hai! (O, dear!) a girl baby is born”. I said, “ Keep quiet or something might happen to her”. After a while she started bleeding heavily, quickly she was taken to the hospital in Tis Hazari , she died there. I was so upset that for many days I could not go for deliveries. For two years I did not talk to that family. I could have also got a bad name. On birth of a girl baby we try to make the Jacha understand in many different ways. Many times we also lie that she has got a boy baby. (p.42)
    26. Vidya: dai should not get nervous. She should have confidence in herself. (p.40)

  5. Understanding of the Body, Health and Disease
    1. Uma: The woman who works has her baby properly. If she sleeps or eats all the time then usually there is a need of an operation. This is what I think. (p.13)
    2. Dhapo: In our time we did not have ulta or aada bacha . All were born seedha. Very few were born like that because the woman used to work a lot. By this the baby used to move around and used to come out properly. (p.19)
    3. Vidya Devi: This is correct. These days women just take rest they do not move around therefore there are problems. (p.19)
    4. Kamla: By eating stale roti the Anwal naal (placenta) becomes big. We don’t let them eat stale food. (p.40)
    5. Vidya: When the Jacha is with child, she should always sit on a plank and the plank should be at her back and not towards the shareer. If it is towards the shareer then baby’s head may be big. All this is explained to Jacha . (p.40)
    6. Naseem: When the dai had come for the first baby's birth. I was feeling very sharam (shame). I told her to leave. When the pain became very strong then only I let her touch me. I covered myself with a sheet. At the time of giving birth, one has to be courageous. (p.36)
    7. Rani: Look at Gau mata (mother cow). She is also a woman. She is able to give birth on the road. Who is her dai? A female pig, a bitch, all of them give birth to 15 babies alone. Who helps them? These animals do not let others come near them. A woman has other women. Aurat jaath (female folk) have lot of shakti. (p.37)
    8. Tara: There are many disgusting men. I finished a case at night and the husband got drunk and entered the jhuggi (hut). When I went there in the morning the Jacha couldn’t get up. I said, "Bahu, I did everything properly for you last night, why are you then not able to get up?” She didn’t want to talk about it, she was embarrassed at first but then she told me later. I said, “If something had happened to you then I would have been in trouble”. She said,"I tried very hard to stop him”. When I went back there in the evening he was sitting there. I scolded him a lot, he kept absolutely quiet. If it is done in kacha shareer then there are a lot of problems. I washed her shareer with sharab(alcohol), only then she got relief from the pain. (p.40)
    9. Vidya: If the woman is pregnant with a girl baby and the woman sleeps with the man after sixth month then bilkul paap lagta hai (definitely a sin). This is what is believed in our place. It is not even known whether the woman is carrying a boy or a girl baby, so it is better that you don’t sleep. Many times if the woman sleeps with the man till her sixth or seventh month then her shareer may start itching and smelly water may also come out. Then we send her to the doctor.[ dai has knowledge of infection]. (p.41)
    10. Tara and Vidya: We ask the woman not to have sex from the sixth month of pregnancy till forty days after pregnancy. By this the woman’s shareer remains intact till late. (p.41)
    11. Sudha: Zamin apna seena pharkar anaj ugati hai (The earth tears its heart to grows grain), likewise woman does not worry about her shareer and perpetuates the creation of nature. (p.43)
    12. Rani: Many a times nabhi gir jati hai (pulse below navel gets dislocated) then people come to me to get it set right.( Rani shows it by doing it on Pushpa’s stomach. She makes her lie down and locates and pulls the nasein . She massages her stomach). (p.45)

  6. Formal and Informal Health Delivery and Referral Networks
    1. Kaushalya: dai may get confused with the gloves on. She can make out by touching with her hands. Once I was wearing gloves. The chuthar (buttock) was coming out. I thought it was the head. When I realized, everyone panicked. I held the kamar (lower back) and moved it, then baby was born. Baby was born properly. But because of gloves I got fooled. (p.12)
    2. Vidya Devi: In training we were taught about soap water enema. Before we used to give enema of soap water but this used to harm the baby. It used to go into the baby’s mouth baby used to stop breathing. (p.19)
    3. Tara: In training they tell us not to give sui. They say let the baby come out naturally. (p.33)
    4. Rani: Now I want to learn to give injections. If a doctor is not to be found then it is needed, sometimes. (p.36)
    5. Pushpa: If the head is stuck and is not coming out then injection is given and baby is delivered. Otherwise, when the pains are long and the head is not coming out then there is a fear that the head may get elongated. (p.36)
    6. Kaushalya: I have learnt from an Ayurveda doctor. This was ten years before the Jehangirpuri resettlement colony came up. That Ayurveda doctor had taught me quite a bit about delivering babies. Whatever was left out, I could learn by being with a dai. (p.45)
    7. Pushpa: The doctors of Sunderlal Jain hospital, who deal with birth, showed us pictures and taught us. They taught quite a bit: How babies are made. They also taught that mothers’ milk should be given immediately after birth. The first milk is helpful. It was a five-day training. (p.45)
      1. Deepti What is the need for training? (p.45)
      2. Pushpa - On training, certificate is given. (p.45)
      3. Deepti - What difference has training made? (p.45)
      4. Pushpa - If the baby is not coming and there is a need of a vehicle then they make an arrangement. (p.45)
      5. Deepti - We want to know if you learnt anything new or not? (p.45)
      6. Pushpa: No. (p.45)
    8. Rani: In jhuggi-jhopari, there were no nurses. I learnt from Maya dai. She helped me to overcome all my doubts. My children were delivered by Maya. Mamta’s mummy was going to have a baby. I was near her. When Maya came, I asked her to cut the naal because she is my guru (teacher). She refused. She said, since you have delivered the baby, you should cut the naal . My heart opened up. I got courage. There was a training in 'A' Block centre for three months. I also got three hundred rupees. I learnt about Jacha’s health and child delivery. (p.45)
    9. Pushpa: If the mouth of the bacha dani (bacha dani ka muh)is not opening? (p.47)
      1. Naseem : If the pain is not pura(complete or full) then how can it open? (p.47)
      2. Pushpa: If the pains are there for three days and still it does not open. (p.47)
      3. Kaushalya: Please don’t feel bad but if you give tel ka ghera(put oil on vagina) then it will surely open. (p.47)
      4. Pushpa: That is why I am asking for training. (p.47)
      5. Deepti: But what Kaushalya is saying is not in the training these days. (p.47)
      6. Kaushalya: By government training you get a certificate. This gives encouragement to a dai. How much she learns from the training depends on the dai. It is wrong that the traditional system is not accepted. Gloves to be worn is stressed upon, but if it is not cleaned properly then it may become a cause for illness. (p.47)
    10. Renuka: What did they tell you in the training? (p.48)
      1. Tara: They said that you have told us everything. Then they took me out. Sunderlal Jain people said that a separate certificate should be made for Tara. They taught people who did not know. (p.48)
    11. Vidya Devi: We used to go every week. And would read and write. It was a one year training. I was sent to Chandigarh for exams. (p.48)
    12. Tara: We put ash on the naaru for it to dry up. Doctors said that this should not be done. They said put medicine. They said for Jacha spread clean clothes. The baby should not be bathed immediately. Clean the throat and make the baby shit. But women in bastees do not listen. I liked all these things, that the doctors said. (p.49)
    13. Vidya: We also have momjama (plastic sheet). We wash it with Dettol and take. If people don’t like it then I ask them to give cloth.(p.50)
      1. Tara: By using it the bed does not get spoiled. (p.50)
      2. Tara: Khatik (a caste group) do not allow to spread it. (p.50)
      3. Vidya: They do not allow to go from one case to another case. They clean the blood with the ash. (p.50)
    14. Tara: Now everyone says that I can also handle cases. (p.8)
    15. Vidya: After one-two months training they start handling cases. (p.8)
    16. Naseem - Hospitals have a different kind of responsibility. They are not accused if any thing goes wrong. If anything goes wrong at home then dai is held responsible for it. (p.46)
    17. Tara: No dai wants the case to get spoiled. If it gets spoiled naturally then what can we do? But everything comes on the dai. What is the responsibility of the doctors who sit on the lanes? If a dai cannot handle then she calls another dai who knows more. (p.50)
    18. Vidya: If it takes long and Jacha starts screaming a lot then family members say bahenji, she is screaming a lot. I say if you are not satisfied then take her to the hospital. There a chira may be given and stitched, then in this situation she will have to stay for seven days. Here it will take one day. (p.38)
    19. Vidya Devi - Bhai, government dai is scared of doctors so will we not be scared? When A.N.M. will say then we will do. (p.16)
    20. Kamala (Health Worker) - For five days I had gole ka dard. Then I left the baby in the hospital and went out. Took roots of neem, pounded it and mixed it with water and drank it. After drinking, the blood started flowing out. In hospital there is a lot of carelessness. When doctor asked from where did you learn this. I said, my Dadi taught me. If the baby is born dry or shriveled up and the khoon jam jaye (blood does not flow) then immediately neem roots may be pounded and given to drink. All the blood will flow out. After delivery blood should come out. Good, I had it in my head, otherwise I would have died. (p.17)
    21. Tara: In hospital they first ask for money. Then only they do something. They say, if you do not have money then why do you give birth to children? (p.10)
    22. Tara: We are not unhappy with the A.N.M 's but with what they say. There was a case, the baby was born properly. After this Jacha started vomiting a lot. It was not stopping. I took her to Hindu Rao hospital. Doctor said not to worry. She is vomiting because of weakness. It is not your (Tara dai’s) fault. She gave two injections, one on the wrist and the other on her arm. Whole night, I stayed with the Jacha . She became alright in the morning. (p.9)
    23. Tara: My heart knows that yes, I can do this work. If not then I will say, bahenji, you take her and if you say so, then, I will go to the hospital with you. Till you do not have the baby I will stay with you. In the hospital also I will say that I am the dai. I could not manage it, I brought her to you. By this there is no problem over us. (p.37)
    24. Kaushalya : There was a case in the centre. I was called, naal was coming out. The baby was in danger. I told Jacha not to apply force. The nurse came, she started giving medicine. I told her not to give medicine, the case is ready, it is dangerous, call the bari behanji (madam, doctor). bari behanji got jealous after seeing me. She started putting responsibility on me. I said this was a hospital case. Since morning Jacha is in this state. (p.8)
    25. Sherly: I am a nurse but still I had to face lot of problems during the delivery of my baby. I went to a small clinic of a doctor. She kept on giving injection. On asking she said it is syntocin. She gave so many injections that it I still get pains. Immediately after delivery she sent me home. (p.13)
    26. Pushpa: Doctors do not get time. There is so much rush. There is such a long queue. In government hospitals so many patients come. (p.46)
      1. Deepti: Then why are people going to hospitals? (p.46)
      2. Rani: So that their houses do not become dirty. (p.46)
    27. Kaushalya: If naal is around the neck then it can be dangerous. In one case, baby’s one leg was out. But the other leg could not be found. Two months back I had asked her to go to hospital. Her husband stopped her. Now they told me to manage it. Then they said that centrewali (somebody from the centre) had come and said the case is all right. I did not want to do the case. I called for her from the centre. But she was not prepared to do alone. In the end, we both put one finger from two sides and very slowly, with lot of difficulty took it out. Now, that girl has become quite big. She considers me as a mother. (p.46)
    28. Vidya: This is our speciality if Jacha ’s house is poor then instead of taking money we help her. Who bothers in the hospital? (p.10)
    29. Vidya: The injection to stop miscarriage is very expensive. (p.31)
    30. Tara: People sometimes call us to check during the pregnancy. We take money for checking, 10, 20 ,30 rupees or whatever. If someone calls for checking for the first time and gives money then it is understood the case is ours. If somebody is very poor or if the person is known then they sometimes don’t give money. From some we definitely take 20 rupees. (p.40)
    31. Sherly - My name is Sherly. I am from Jehangirpuri and a health worker in Action India. I have also done a course in nursing. It is my heartiest desire to do work like you. To help people who are in difficulty. Earlier I used to work in a hospital. But now I want to help poor people. So many poor people eat less so that they can go to a hospital. I want to serve these people. (p.6)

  7. Identity and Status of dai
    1. Tara: People come to call me. Whether it is day or night. From Peetampura, Swaroop Nagar, Adarsh Nagar. People come and take me. Some bring a riksha some bring motor car. Then I have to go. Whether it is day or night, I do not refuse. This is my work, to do sewa (service). (p.5)
    2. Deepti: How do you distribute the houses amongst yourself? (p.10)
      1. Rani: There are no different streets. Whoever is called by the patient, goes there.
      2. Tara: I go where I get respect(izzat).
      3. Deepti: Tell us if it is a Muslim house then do they call a Hindu dai and do Hindus call Muslims?
      4. Tara : There is nothing like this. Patients call the one on whom they have confidence.( p.10)
    3. Tara: Jacha and bacha have to be supported otherwise our name will be spoiled. Regarding money it is like this. If somebody is poor then I see her. Like this person is very poor and cannot give me then it is all right. I will not leave the Jacha and will finish the work and go. Whether she gives after ten days, after a month or does not give, it does not matter. I get to eat in ten places and do not get in one place then how much of a loss is it? No. Jacha listens to us. If we explain affectionately then Jacha listens to what we say. Some are stubborn but if you give love and explain properly then she agrees. Then we say beta please listen otherwise you would be taken to the hospital and will have to get a chira (episiotomy or caesarian).(p.37)
    4. Munni Begum: Without certificate I am scared. Therefore I do not go far. Case may get spoiled. I am afraid. (p.4)
    5. Naseem: I have left this work since 8 years. After cleaning nau mahine ki gandagi (nine months dirt) we do not get paid for our labour. (p.7)
    6. Tara: Doctors get salary from the government. They say that dai�s poils the case. I don’t like this. (p.8)
    7. Naseem Bano - Eight years ago, I delivered many babies. If Anwal(placenta) climbed up then I used to take it out very carefully. Then, I got involved with my own kids, work increased so I could not go to deliver babies. At home, I have a responsibility on my head of a grown up daughter. Times are so bad. Therefore, I left this work. There are compulsions. There are many difficulties. I only delivered three babies of my Bahu (daughter-in -law), recently. (p.4)
    8. Naseem: To feed my children I did this work. But when I saw that I was not getting paid properly then I left and started working in houses. Cleaning their utensils, mopping the floors. I had to feed my children somehow. (p.9)
    9. Rani: I have three reriyan (stalls). On one I keep potatoes and onions. Second one has vegetables and on the third I sit. If there is a case, then families come and call me. Everyone knows that after three o’clock Rani will be at the reri. (p.12)
    10. Rani: I take care of the whole house. Husband is there but it is like not having one. I go for cases. I learnt it from my heart and head. I give jari-booti(herbal) medicine. (p.10)
    11. Rani: I have done three months dai training, from ‘A’ block dispensary. The lady doctor over their taught me very nicely. Till now I have done many cases. These days I go less on cases because I also sell vegetables. I do not get that much time. (p.4)
    12. Kamala: It is not just the Jacha but dai also exerts so she should be strong enough for that. In our area a boy child was born and he died. dai fought and took the money. This should not happen. So she is a bad dai. (p.40)
    13. Tara: One day a pandit(priest) said that you come to the temple everyday but the work that you do is dirty. Then I asked him how is it dirty? I have no knowledge so you tell me. He said that you pick up so much of gandh (dirt) and then come to temple. I told him that if we were not there then how would you be here? First you give me an answer for this. If not me then one of my sisters must have helped to deliver you and then only you became a pandit (this word is also used for the person with lot of knowledge).Some dai only must have helped in your delivery. We ask Bhagwan to give us shakti so that the work does not get spoiled and we have our izzat (respect). (p.42)
    14. Kamala: dai is sympathetic, gives love, gives emotional support - she gives her own shakti. To deliver the baby is like performing puja. (p.43)

  8. Stories, Songs, Beliefs
    1. Rani: Anwal naalis buried in the house and fire is lit near it-to ward off bhoot-pret (malevolent spirits). (p.14)
    2. Kamala: We never throw it. The child is so dear to us so is the Anwal dear to us. For nine months it has protected the baby so how can we throw it? (p.22)
    3. Praveen: The woman who does not have children is made to touch the Anwal, this helps her to have a baby. (p.22)
    4. Tara: Once, there was nothing to eat in one Jacha’s house, not even milk. So, I gave ten rupees to buy milk, but her Saas refused and asked her Bahu to return it or we will be indebted. Then I told her neighbour woman to give her a little milk. When she took the milk across, the Saas said “if something happens to my Bahu, then you are responsible”. People are quite superstitious here. (p.39)
    5. Tara: Because of the fear of nazar (evil eye) and totka (evil spell) even the dai is not called openly. dai is called secretly under some pretext, so that people do not come to know. (p.39)

  9. Relevant Background About the NGO/Workshop
    1. Kaushalya (Action India): - I am doing Action India’s program in Nandnagri and Sundernagri. I am in the process of learning. This is the first opportunity that I have got to come for the workshop. After this I would also like to make a group of women and will involve the dais in it. (p.3)
    2. Uma (Action India): My name is Uma. I came before in Gurudev Ashram for the workshop. I do gharelu ilaaj (home remedies) program of Action India. I have come again in this workshop to learn more. (p.4)
    3. Kamala (Action India) : My name is Kamala. After first workshop, five dais joined my program. Once in a week we have a meeting with these five dais. I also do maalish. People call me if thuddihave joint pains or for pains in the knees then I go. I also do work on making dawa (medicine) and gharelu ilaaj(home remedies). (p.4)
    4. Praveen (Action India): I am from Jehangirpuri. I work on health. I would like information on body parts and on birth. I have also done deliveries. (p.4)

  10. Special Insights
    1. Tara: Women who handle their own birth at home are very courageous. (p.12)
    2. Vidya Devi: If after a girl a boy is born then there is no pain. Because Soo palat jati hai (soo has changed) (p.18)
    3. Tara: If in future, a pregnancy is not desired, then immediately after birth, cotton foya is dipped in sharab and the mouth of the bacha dani is held and is turned backward. After this the woman does not get pregnant. (p.28)
    4. Rani: When mother is giving birth then she has to bear the pains. Chote log (lower class people) can bear pain, bare log (upper class) cannot. I told you about the relationship between dard and mamta. Without suffering where from will mother’s mamta come? (p.35)
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