PCDP's Health Care team had arranged a programme in the desert to give midwifery kits to all the women who had successfully completed their midwifery training.
Resham, one of the newly qualified midwives, came to the stage and spoke to the assembled crowd of some three hundred people:
“In the past, many mothers died during childbirth, and many babies also died, because in the whole region of Parkar there were no trained midwives or lady doctors.
But now that PCDP is working in our area, there has been huge progress in our community. In village after village children are getting a good education, and the midwives who have been trained are working effectively. We are using the methods that we have been taught. And our community is benefiting greatly from this. PCDP has freed our community from many difficulties and hardships.“
The significance of this is not so much that she had been trained in midwifery, nor that she had seen the improvement in survival rates of both mothers and children during childbirth. Nor is it the effect of training and education that was changing community perceptions about their future – from darkness to light! Nor is it that so many children, for the first time, have access to schooling.
No. The most amazing thing is that an illiterate woman, who previously would not have dared to speak in public, let alone on a stage before 300 people, now was addressing an audience of both men and women, and sharing her own experiences and views with confidence and authority.
The voice of women is now being heard in Parkar. And it is the voice of change, of progress, and of a better, brighter future!