Amreen grew up in a protective household in Nangloi slum, West of Delhi during the early 1990s. Her father was a hardworking and strict parent who had a job as a truck driver carrying goods across the country. He made a living earning Rs.10000 (140.41 USD or 107.82 £) a month to feed and take care of basic needs for his large family of 8 members, including 6 minor children.
Times were extremely difficult for Amreen and her siblings growing up. Amreen recalls ‘Anytime our father got unwell or into an accident it would become a huge problem and cause a lot of unrest within the family, as we are all dependent on his earnings’.
When she was in the 8th standard, her mother fell extremely ill. As the eldest sibling, Amreen was expected to take care of the household and her siblings. This meant quitting school and staying at home. She loved school and learning, this was a huge personal loss and sacrifice for her. It is still hard for her to remember those days of innocence lost.
At the age of 18, Amreen was married off to Mohammad aged 22. After marriage, she shifted to the Zakhira slum colony with her husband and settled down. In the year 2007, she got associated with Asha as she was expecting her first child. She started to visit the Asha centre for regular prenatal check-ups. In time, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl and continued visiting Asha for postnatal check-ups too.
In spite of contraception being a social taboo in their community, Amreen and Mohammad decided that they did not want children for a few years. Asha CHV provided the information of Copper T and assisted her to the government hospital for the procedure. This form of birth control kept her safe for 10 years until she decided to remove it in 2017. After removal of the Copper T, she soon became a mother to another healthy baby girl the following year. Amreen and Mohammad were happy that their family was complete.
However, in 2019, Amreen was surprised to find out that she was expecting twins. She visited the Asha centre for check-ups and interacted with the Asha team to gain more knowledge about women’s healthcare which helped her as she had a high-risk pregnancy. Soon, she gave birth to her twins, a healthy boy and a girl in a government hospital. Amreen and Mohammad have now together decided to not have any more children. Following this, encouraged by the Asha team in Zakhira, Mohammad recently underwent a successful vasectomy procedure.
‘Asha provides so much information about women and child healthcare, reproductive and family planning. With responsibilities at home, we do not have time to visit the hospitals as they are all far away. We only visit hospitals if referred by Asha, otherwise, we are totally dependent on Asha’ says Amreen. Amreen also hopes her children receive their education and become graduates who get good jobs and help their community someday.