When I started Infertility Dost, being a blogger myself it was instinctive for me to fall back on my blogger community, my comfort zone. InfertilityDost and blogger community – this was the bond I was set on developing. Infertility was an extremely tough subject to talk, convince and engage someone to share their platform. I spoke to a few people but they turned down my request on grounds of heavy subject or asking for a lot of money to conduct an awareness campaign. As a start-up newbie, working completely out of passion and self-pocket sponsored activity was out of the window. Also, I wasn’t keen to connect with someone who would engage purely out of monetary arrangement. I was looking for someone was also passionate and sensitive for the cause.
Soon, I get a tweet from Write Tribe, “Let’s connect and see if we can help with the cause of infertility”. I was happy for I knew that write tribe was a great community of bloggers. Write Tribe’s tagline, prominently displayed on their homepage – “Challenging You To Write Bravely” connected with me instantly. My subject required exactly this trait – Brave. I kept my fingers crossed.
Corinne, who manages Write Tribe was convinced about the gravity of subject even before I spoke with her. There was no convincing required. She simply understood everything. No money, no demands – Just the love for helping and changing the society. She congratulated me for Infertility Dost and said we will do whatever we can do. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Such people still exist!
Blog contest with a social cause at heart was launched on 26th September, 2016 with a mission. Support came from all corners. Love from social media started to pour in. I met some interesting bloggers who extended their support wholeheartedly for the cause. The contest continued for almost a month and we ended it with 27 blog entries.
Each story is a step towards writing bravely and speaking up for changing the society. I can’t thank bloggers enough for showing love, support and solidarity for the cause of infertility. Such heart warming stories poured in. Women reading the stories confided that they don’t feel lonely in this journey anymore. They felt empowered.
— Travel By Karma (@WriterGitanjali) October 2, 2016
Rekha Dhyani who also bagged the first prize for her brave story shares her personal account. She says,” It wasn’t easy for me to write this post. Nevertheless, for a cause I managed it.” She recounts her fight with endometriosis and infertility highlight on how society should stop nagging a newly-wed couple with this naive question, “Any good news?”
Ramya writes a fiction and brings out two contrasting stories, one about a village woman and other from a woman in Bangalore, both suffering the same fate and brunt of infertility. Through this heart- wrenching story, she makes a valid point, “Whether it is Raja ka Tal or Bangalore, the brunt of infertility is often faced by women. There exists in society, a certain element of stigma when a woman is unable to conceive. At a time when she needs mental support, she gets the taunts and bears the blame.” Her story was awarded the second prize in the contest.
Trust me, we had a tough time judging this particular contest for every writer had internalized the pain and suffering of infertility to such an extent that the blurring lines between real and real simply blurred. I salute all the writers for their bravery, enthusiasm and sensitivity. For us as Infertility Dost Team this is an inspiring experience.
60% of infertility cases in India are because of male issues but such is the patriarchal and stereotype social structure that most men neither speak about this issue nor extend support. So, to bring men out of the infertility closet we requested our brave male writers to help society at large by spearheading this movement. We had a special prize for a male writer or a story written from male perspective.
I was left speechless after reading Rohan Kachalia’s personal account about low sperm count being the cause of infertility. It was really brave of him to share his story thereby helping many men to rise above petty ego and support their best friend, their wife.
— Rohan Kachalia (@rohank01) October 17, 2016
A fictional story that looked like the story of every household in India, Karan Bhatia says, “Humiliation is not when you openly discuss about your infertility, it is actually’ when an egoistic male tries to conceal his problem to deliberately pass on the disgrace to his partner.”
Roma Gupta, a woman crosses the fence and brings to us Shashank’s voice who wants to become a dad and how he endures the challenges of infertility. Parenthood is always biased towards woman, however, this story where the protagonist says; “I too want to be a dad”, touches us to the core.
Infertility Dost says a heartfelt thanks to all the brave writers who brought before us a unique perspective on infertility touching upon various dimensions of this problem and giving voice to those who can’t speak for themselves.
Jayanti’s beautiful story on women empowerment is worth a mention. The pathos she brings alive through her protagonist touches readers at many levels. She writes:
“For she alone knew.
What it felt like to be boycotted and be called barren and infertile
What it felt like being married to a man who was not a heterosexual …
What it felt like to live a stifled existence in a loveless, sexless and a childless marriage…
What it felt like to live and die as a widow and a virgin…”
— Ankita Shukla (@ankifreesoul) October 15, 2016
Lata, brings together five tales all happening in different time and space but with differing perspective of infertility as a common thread. Her understanding of human sentiments is commendable.
Vasantha Vivek bravely shares her sister’s story who during her infertility journey took every stone of taunt and humiliation thrown at her with grace and after 15 years of struggle is now leading a happy life spreading positive vibes around. She shares 10 tips for couples undergoing infertility journey. We are proud of both Vasantha and her sister.
The poem form Ramya Rao is unique in content and style of expression. A refreshing style pinpointing on a poignant issue regarding infertility, she sings:
“But why does the society always blame the wife?
Infertility is never a choice,
I am just a mere voice.”
A corporate setup, a bossy boss and the issue of infertility lurking behind files and meetings, Reena Dhiman gets her story inspiration from real life incident and emphasizes that infertility is also a modern lifestyle problem.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for raising your voice on this sensitive subject. Every blog, every tweet, every mention helps us connect to more people and get closer to that one woman who might be hiding and suffering somewhere silently. The bond between InfertilityDost and blogger community strengthened with this contest.
Twitter Reach: 12,67,516
Twitter Impressions: 3, 16,789
Together, let’s continue to sensitize and educate the society so that no one ever gets taunted or humiliated.
Lastly, I would once again thank Corinne from Write Tribe for making this campaign a success. She personally motivated a lot of writers to join the cause and extended her full support for InfertilityDost.