11th October 2015 : Kalupur Railway Station, Ahmedabad
Initially it was difficult to approach the families and start a conversation about sex.
We started talking to a couple of sweeper women. They openly spoke about sex and their married life. But some of their opinions were based on religious idiosyncrasies rather than science. To prevent pregnancy their infallible logic was to either not have sex at all or to indulge in it only twice a month when supposedly the probability of getting pregnant was the least (according to their menstrual cycles). In case they did get pregnant aborting the baby was not an option for them as they didn’t want to kill a gift of God. They didn’t know what a condom was and were distrustful of them.
“So what if we have a little less to eat, we can’t deny a baby the right to live”
When asked about imparting sex education to their children, yet again the mothers were comfortable to speak to their daughters about menstruation but nothing more.
“They will find out eventually, on their own”
We then spoke to the parents of a 22 year old girl. Only the mother spoke to the daughter about her menstrual issues.They were “modern” in their approach though, where they encouraged their daughter to study as long as she wished before getting married. They were of the opinion that she doesn’t need to know about sex until right before her wedding and even after that her mother will give her the information if a married female friend doesn’t step forward.