HIV AIDS CASE STUDY from Chetna in Pune
Standing Tall and Proud
Despite being constantly teased because of her stout physique and above-average height, 16 year old Pramila had always been optimistic about her future. Her goal was to join the police force and make something of herself. Tragedy struck that year when Pramila's older sister Meera, committed suicide, due to harassment by her in laws. Since her sister had a young daughter, Pramila's parents decided that she was to take her sister's place and be married off to her sister's husband. Pressured into marriage against her wishes, Pramila arrived at her husband's home frightened, angry and unable to bond with her new family.
At that time, two Self Help Groups promoted by Chetna were functioning in the area: Gautami Bachat Gat and Prerna Bachant Gat. They undertook activities like street plays and rallies to sensitise the community on a variety of issues pertaining to women's rights. Pramila was curious about them, but being shy, she initially remained a silent spectator. However when Chetna announced that they were starting tailoring classes in the area, Pramila mobilised a few women into an SHG. Being part of an SHG opened up a new world for Pramila. She was able to share her troubles with the other members of the group. Hearing their stories, she realised that she was not alone. She began to understand that there was great power in collective strength. Having studied up to the tenth standard, Pramila was elected as the treasurer of her group. She maintained the records and wrote the meeting minutes. Chetna also recognised her potential and began inviting her to participate in their various training programs.
At the same time, in 2001, Chetna launched a CRS supported project for community based care and support for people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. A training program on street theatre was organised and Pramila represented her group at this training and took a small role in the play....