A struggle to save a life
The atmosphere was gloomy befitting the emotions of a young girl. She is about to undertake a life altering action, a consequence of youthful indiscretion. If the action had become public, she would have faced social ostracism in a society that places moral values on a high pedestal and was quick to pass judgment for misdemeanors such as hers. So it was imperative that she kept her identity a secret, as well as that of her destination, ostensibly a medical centre and the estate authorities that backs up this service deemed illegal by the law. The drab facade of the building bellied the activities inside. These uneducated women risk their lives, some die and jeopardize their entire future in the process. Due to myths, cultural and religion taboos, a significant number of estate women avoid contraceptive measures and end up being pregnant, providing a stable wave of business to these illegal abortion clinics that observes no proper hygienic conditions and has no qualified medical personnel.
I wanted to act. I believed that knowledge about safe sex and the importance of using birth preventive measures and access to services will empower women to make choices about their bodies and their sex lives. I as an estate employee, activist met the estate manager to organize family planning programs. It took a bit of persuading, but finally, he came out to speak to me. I vividly remember catching a look in his eyes and realizing that not only was he not interested in what we were saying, but also he was irritated. Surprisingly, I realized that I was the source of his major irritation. How could he not care? I was in disbelief and frustrated. But, more than anything, I knew that he was outraged. He brought excuses and facts that could barely support my argument. He ultimately demanded that I leave in an angry voice. He was threatening me, saying that he would make me get transferred. So, I did the only thing I could think of, I resigned my job. I realized that my work situation is the result of bias and discrimination and those solutions lie only within my activism, which helped me to coordinate with organizations to get a program off the grounds. I believe that we must speak up for what we believe, work to end discrimination, question what already is, and envision yet to come.