What is SRHR for CM?
It was 2016, then Console Mission started seeing the needs of girls in its district’s rural areas, right after the earthquake, including boys. “Seeing from various, different and to the point, as essential” perspective is priority for CM. Since its starting, 2010, health has been the first priority. Training on hygiene and sanitation, nutrition and counseling, CM started seeing the need of the teenagers, not leaving boys behind, regarding Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Yes! Children must know, NGOs were focusing awareness and training for the teenage girls. But what about boys? If they don’t know, they will leave behind. But the continuation of discrimination remains. When males lack knowledge about sexual diseases, sex, reproduction, then how could they be expected by their spouse, or sister or mother to know about their need or help. Girls often get different, occasionally during month, that is chaos, she says, my husband doesn’t understand me. Therefore, it is important that male must know right from the time that is necessary.
Yes, it was 2016, a girl who was supposed to continue here study in grade 8, stopped and ran away/got married. She is only a daughter, and she has a younger brother. Family of four, her father was away. She was selected for a scholarship; she did not appear. But information, it helped to see the picture, what was going on there? But who knew that has been a tradition, getting married after menstruation, at age between 12 – 15. CM followed up its beneficiary, thinking she should know that she was getting a scholarship. And maybe she will continue studying there where she went. So, finding out by following her and other issue was human trafficking. But she was safe, her husband took later to his parents’ house. They were living in a semi-urban area close to her village. About an hour’s drive from CM’s office. Continuing to follow her, she visited her mother and brother, it was October, festival, but she had a miscarriage. CM knew that student was getting training at school. But that was not enough. It was a sad story for mother and her relatives. CM explored one more, that training or informative sessions organized at school wasn’t sufficient.
In place of that girl, another was selected. But that put CM in some kind of confusion. Only a few were selected, it was learned need were many. And the scholarship program was linked with the earthquake. 100% houses were fallen down, so everyone expected. CM managed it by meeting the senior people of the village. The village is known as Bhattedanda. The scholarship program was supported by Dr. Dick Harding Charity. And there were individual donors like Mrs. Marion Myers and her husband Mr. Myers and Simon Reed from the United Kingdom who were the friends of the founder member of CM. This was the resource management part. CM wants to let them know because they played an important part that CM is in a stage that CM could understand the situation relating to SRHR and the lives and challenges of the teenage children. When they reach exactly grade 8, they used to stop continuing to school. Now, it is decreased. However, recently after the pandemic, one girl who was a scholarship student, was getting ready to join here grade 9. She did not come in an educational and dress distribution program. It happens that one of few do not come because of certain reason. But she did come and collect from Nayagaon, one of the villages where CM had a project. The reason was found later, after she got married.
There were several questions:
- Why did she get married? Were there no other solution?
- Was the guy or herself put in that position that since culturally marriage is the most important part of a girl’s life?
Whatever but it was her right to have a relationship, but it was not safe that even she was getting ready to continue her school, she could not. It was found that boys, even in this story, that her husband, stopped continuing going to school or stopped after appearing for SEE. Whatsoever, in another village called Nallu, our Program Executive and his spouse, related to the Neglected Tropical Diseases project, interacted with a girl, a pregnant teenager, who left her husband after finding that he was cheating, and returned to her relative’s house. The relative gave place because she was pregnant. Most of the children born from teenage mothers were found, it is another story, left them with relatives, finding job abroad. CM think they trafficked for other purposes but not for what they were communicated.
Really, sex is a part of the need, emotion, biology, environment and sometimes that is frustration creates social disorder – rape and abuse. However, it is the right of everyone, and CM thinks that the right age is teenage. In a tribal community, where CM is focusing, 3 rural municipalities, CM needs to work on. There were several reasons that children stopped going to school at certain age, teenage, 12 – 15. But knowing about sex and reproductive health and sex and reproductive rights was something that CM must not ignore. CM is intended to invest its time and resources. Health has been the essential part of CM, from its starting, and now as CM is focusing on helping children to develop quality in their life either through school’s education or together with learning about good behaviors, hygienic habits, environment – forest, animals and caring for other countries’ needs, learning about global issues.
The story of a teenage girl, who gave birth to a daughter in January 2022. Again this girls had one more recently in July 2023 as informed by our local volunteer Namrata. CM was preparing to visit and talk about her married life and changes that is facing as a lesson learning. But here CM heard this news putting CM to really focus on managing certain ideas into implementation that children learn about it. Mainly girls will not suffer, and they will keep them safe as they continue their studies.
Where is education, where is rights, CM developed a way that there are possibilities. And it is cost-effective and possible to sustain locally without less intervention and support from outsiders or those people and NGO like CM who are outside or means doesn’t live there.
The girl, Sabina, a mother, is living a challenging life but she is with her husband together. But another might be in a situation that surely after some time she will take important decision. CM needs to visit her and find out about her situation.