Declared dead in womb, birth certified next day

At a PHC in Bihar’s Vaishali district, the ultrasound machine is home to spiders, the staff demands money, and told a family their unborn baby was dead – making them rush to a private clinic at great cost

February 22, 2021 | Jigyasa Mishra

Decrepit health centres, 'bina-degree' doctors

An understaffed PHC where wild animals wander in, fears about hospitals, poor phone connectivity – all ensure that pregnant women in Bihar’s Baragaon Khurd village invariably deliver at home

February 15, 2021 | Anubha Bhonsle and Vishnu Singh

In Almora, moving mountains for childbirth

Last year, Rano Singh of Uttarakhand’s Almora district gave birth on the road, halfway uphill to a hospital, in a region where the terrain and expenses compel many in the mountain hamlets to deliver at home

February 11, 2021 | Jigyasa Mishra

A coerced sterilisation, a senseless death

Bhavna Suthar of Rajasthan's Bansi village died after a sterilisation procedure at a 'camp' last year that flouted norms and gave her no time to consider options. Her husband Dinesh is still seeking justice

November 20, 2020 | Anubha Bhonsle

‘Clients even in my ninth month of pregnancy’

With four miscarriages, an alcoholic husband, and the loss of her factory job, Delhi-based Honey turned to sex work when pregnant a fifth time, and has lived with an STD since. Now, in lockdown, she struggles to earn

October 15, 2020 | Jigyasa Mishra

'How did my wife develop an infection?'

An infection after a sterilisation set off three years of pain, a bewildering runaround of hospitals, growing debt, and eventually a hysterectomy for 27-year-old Susheela Devi of Rajasthan’s Dausa district

September 3, 2020 | Anubha Bhonsle and Sanskriti Talwar

‘The doctor says my bones have become hollow’

After a lifetime of illness and surgeries, including a uterus removal, Bibabai Loyare of Hadashi village in Pune district is bent and sunken. Still, she continues to do farm work and looks after a paralytic husband

July 2, 2020 | Medha Kale

'My kaat [uterus] keeps coming out'
• Nandurbar, Maharashtra

'My kaat [uterus] keeps coming out'

Bhil women with a prolapsed uterus cannot access medical facilities in Maharashtra's Nandurbar district. They struggle with no road or mobile connectivity, unrelenting hard labour and excruciating pain

June 17, 2020 | Jyoti Shinoli

‘The doctors advised a womb removal surgery’

The sexual and reproductive health rights of intellectually disabled women are often violated through forced hysterectomies. But in Maharashtra's Wadi village, Malan More is lucky to have had the support of her mother

June 09, 2020 | Medha Kale

'After some 12 children it stops on its own'

In Haryana’s Biwan village, access to contraception among the Meo Muslims is uphill due to cultural factors, inaccessible health services and indifferent providers – trapping women in a cycle of childbirth

May 20, 2020 | Anubha Bhonsle and Sanskriti Talwar

Locked-down schoolgirls: no basic needs, period

With schools shut, girls from poor families in Uttar Pradesh’s Chitrakoot district have lost access to free sanitary napkins and are turning to risky options. In UP alone, the numbers of such girls runs to millions

May 12, 2020 | Jigyasa Mishra

Counting cows, not rural health indicators

Underpaid and over-burdened with endless surveys, reports and tasks, Sunita Rani and other ASHA workers of Haryana’s Sonipat district struggle to attend to the reproductive health needs of rural families

May 8, 2020 | Anubha Bhonsle and Pallavi Prasad

In the Nilgiris, an inheritance of malnutrition

Mothers with almost no haemoglobin, two-years-olds weighing 7 kilos, alcoholism, low incomes and falling access to the forest are spurring acute malnutrition amongst Adivasi women in Gudalur, Tamil Nadu

May 1, 2020 | Priti David

'For that grandson, we had four children'

The women of Harsana Kalan village in Haryana, around 40 kilometres from Delhi, describe their struggles to achieve some control over their own lives and reproductive choices in the face of male hostility

April 21, 2020 | Anubha Bhonsle and Sanskriti Talwar

'Now my goats are like my children'
• Nandurbar, Maharashtra

'Now my goats are like my children'

Bhil women from the Dhadgaon region in Maharashtra's Nandurbar district struggle with stigma, social exclusion and a rural healthcare system that fails to provide effective treatment for infertility

April 13, 2020 | Jyoti Shinoli

'Last year, only one man agreed to a vasectomy'

'Male engagement' in family planning is a buzzword, but the Vikas Mitras and ASHA workers of Bihar report little success in convincing men to undergo sterilisation, and contraception continues to be left to women

March 18, 2020 | Amruta Byatnal

'They are just given a pill and sent away'

The well-equipped primary health centres in Chhattisgarh's Narayanpur district remain out of reach for many Adivasi women, who turn to unqualified practitioners for potentially dangerous abortions and deliveries

March 11, 2020 | Priti David

'End of bother' – Neha gets a nasbandi

A ‘nasbandi day’ has replaced sterilisation camps after a 2016 SC order, but it's still mainly women who undergo surgeries – and many in UP do so without any other choice of modern contraception methods

February 28, 2020 | Anubha Bhonsle

Koovalapuram's curious guesthouse

In Koovalapuram and four other villages of Madurai district, menstruating women continue to be isolated in 'guesthouses'. No one challenges the discrimination, fearing the wrath of the gods and humans

February 20, 2020 | Kavitha Muralidharan