Taking on superstitions through scientific knowledge

14 February 2018
Superstitions related to women in India
Feb 7, 2018 - Moreshwar Building ground, Mahatma Phule Nagar , Kalwa (West)
In course of regular meetings and interaction with the parents and adolescent girls, it was noticed that a lot of superstitious beliefs were associated with the reproductive and mental health.  In order to confront them and create an awareness, we organized Kishori Melawa  with the theme ‘Ek Kadam Vidyan Ki Aur’  with an aim to challenge the strong  beliefs prevalent in the community. 
Girls from the community performed street play on Mental Health with the aim of helping the audience understand why mental health problems arise and that Taking help of  ‘Baba’ wouldn’t help. Ms. Anjali Pore facilitated the discussion about the need for the topic, linking it with the subsequent program. 
Ms. Vandana Shinde, senior resource person from Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti  was invited to facilitate the program. She enthralled the audience with her ‘miracles’ as she called them. She ensured that the adolescents from the audience participated in the ‘tricks’ or experiments that she conducted, like putting a burning camphor in one’s mouth, taking out ribbon “karni” from a coconut , giving children water “teerth” from a jar which didn’t have one etc.  She bravely disputed and confronted about the practice of ‘females being possessed’.   The audience was keenly listening to the scientific explanation that followed the experiments.  She assured the children that ghosts are a myth and if they come across any ‘baba’, they are free to seek her help to catch them, thus halting the rampant superstitions that affect many people. 
She concluded the discussion by congratulating and appreciating SNEHA for the courage that the adolescents showed while participating in the activities.  
Post Ms. Shinde’s discussion, 3 resource people from Agastya foundation took over, starting with a discussion on Menstruation.  Through activities such as power walk, they questioned the audience and addressed many myths and facts related to the menses.