The Women in a Shelter Home
As a part of community service program organized by my high school, I together with my other three friends had the opportunity to visit a women’s shelter home. Our task was to make the women in the shelter home aware primary health care. The program required us to teach the women about basic health and hygiene related topics like cleanliness, food and nutrition, and safe motherhood. We visited the women’s shelter home called “SAATHI” (meaning “friend”). Though I had been to orphanages before with my family and friends, it was my first visit to the women’s shelter home, so I did not have any idea about the likely situation there. We were quite eager to visit the home, so we set the date and time of the visit between us. The day finally arrived. We reached the place where the shelter home was located. As I along with three other friends first entered the shelter home in a chilly morning, I saw a group of about eight women busy making some beads and at the same time basking in the sun. Most of the women were in their early 20s and few were in their early 30s. Some children were playing with a brown dog. As soon as the women noticed us, they all glimpsed at us, but did not show any welcoming expression. I had the impression that they were surprised and did not like the visit of strangers. They looked diffident. The supervisor of the home, who was with us during our visit, told us that there were about four more women inside and she would ask them to come outside their rooms so that we could see the remaining women. She did not come back for about 15 minutes. Then she appeared with a frown on her face. “They are very shy of visitors. So, they are hesitant to come outside” she said to us. Since we lacked the skill and experience to evoke their response, we felt awkward for sometime. Hoping that the women would feel comfortable to talk to us, we diverted our attention to the children and talked to them. We talked about their books...
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