Delhi:  A survey has exposed the tall claims of the state government regarding the facilities being given to expectant mothers hailing from the downtrodden section of society. According to the survey, 67 per cent city females working as domestic helpers are giving birth to babies in their residence and that too without any medical supervision.

Compounding  the miseries is the fact that despite the permissible age for marriage of females in the country is 18-years, 51 percent females of this section of society conceive between the age of 15 years and 17 years.  The death of thousands of domestic helpers across the country each year due to pregnancy related problems is still a major concern.

Ironically, the government has made several claims about launching a string of projects to benefit the expectant women coming from financially weak background. However, the survey reveals a totally different picture altogether.

The survey covering the females working as domestic helpers was conducted by Anusha Agarwal in Budhela, Keshopur, Hashtshal village and slums near Mayapuri and Sangam Viharar area. The female residents of these areas informed about the reasons which prevented them from going to hospitals during pregnancy.

“Though such females consult doctors during their pregnancy, they do not go to hospital for the delivery,” the survey reported. 

According to Anusha, several factors forced these women to give birth to children at homes only. She said, “Non-availability of conveyance, no family member nearby and rude behavior by the hospital staff are major reasons which prevent them from going to the hospital for delivery.”

It also reported that 77 percent women continue to work as domestic helpers even during the crucial time of pregnancy. Although 62 per cent such women are aware of the benefits of family planning, they are unable to incorporate it in their lives because 73 percent of men do not support their spouses.

The main reason behind the lack of male cooperation was projected as their fear of impotency and reluctance to use condoms.

JPN/Bureau