Patna : This is story of 45 years old Matoran Khatoon of Bhusauladanapur under Phulwarisharif block 20 KM away from state capital Patna. Matoran lives with her two daughters, Baby Khatoon (30) and Reshma Khatoon. Her husband Md. Ashraf , daily wage labour had left her 15 years ago. Matoran works as maid servant to run her family. The story begins when Matoran’s elder daughter Baby was pregnant about 6 months ago. Baby was under ANC at AWC located at her in laws residence. During last month of pregnancy she returned back to her mother’s home at Bhusaula. It was Saturday night in the month of April 17, Baby felt labour pain and asked her mother for help. Matoran called ‘102’ for Ambulance to take her daughter to PHC. Unfortunately she did not get ambulance on time. She managed a private vehicle to take her daughter to hospital.
At PHC, after formality of registration, Baby was admitted and was prescribed some medicine. Attending ANM gave her slip and asked her to buy medicines from market. Matoran was compelled to purchase the prescribed medicines for rupees one thousand, when ANM told her about non availability of those medicines, although she was known about free availability of medicines at PHC which was provided by the government.
Baby gave birth to a girl child through normal delivery. Attending ANM demanded money for sweets. Matoran refused to pay any money and asked her, why I should pay money for services at PHC? I know that all services at PHC are provided for free of cost.
Matoran has joined member of Khatoon majlis and its federation, constituted under project “Improving health and nutrition status of dalit and Muslims focuses on women and children” in Phulwari sharif block of Patna. She used to participate in discussions on health and nutrition issues related to women and children. During federation meeting project staffs has oriented members on various schemes of health and nutrition being provided free of cost through service center in block.
Matoran being aware of her health entitlement refused to pay money asked by ANM. On refusing her ANM got angry and asked her to leave bed occupied by her daughter after delivery and have seat on the floor. There was a heated discussion between Matoran and ANM including other paramedical staffs on duty over the issue. Finally Matoran did not leave the bed occupied by hare daughter. Next morning on getting discharged from hospital Matoran called 102 for ambulance. Within 15 minutes, Matoran took her daughter and newly born child to ambulance. On reaching home ambulance driver asked for rupees two hundred.
Matoran again asked driver why two hundred?
Driver told her to pay because people pay him for such service. Again she did not pay any money to driver.
Matoran is role model for number of community member especially for women who visit govt. hospital to have health services. She is well known about the health facilities being provided free of cost at PHCs. She is aware about her health entitlement and raises her voice against mal-practices.
No doubt her story will inspire and educate community.