Social Stigma Initiative To End Social Stigma Of Infertility | Published In Morning India, Ranchi

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Rishi Mukherjee (Journalist) connected with our cause and published a story about InfertilityDost in the Ranchi edition of Morning India English newspaper on 5th February, 2017. Through his story he expounded on the social stigma of infertility and heralded InfertilityDost as an initiative to end this age long social stigma.

Below is the published story:

WHO says “One out of every four couple in developing countries has been found affected by infertility”

RISHI MUKHERJEE

RANCHI: In India infertility is just not a disease but it is also associated with various types of unreasonable social stigma. The irrational minds relate it with bad karma of the women’s past life or blame it on her life styles including social drinking, wearing high heels, career orientation and being careless of husband and indiscipline about religious rituals. The society attaches a very condescending tag of ‘banjh’ (Infertile) on such woman and even do not allow them to participate in happy functions alleging that she might bring in back luck.

In the backdrop of the circumstances, Gitanjali Banerjee, a sufferer of the situation for more than 10 years has now launched a website named ‘InfertiltyDost‘ to educate people about the issue and try putting an end to the social stigma concocted to women who cannot conceive.

Talking to Morning India Banerjee informed about the novel initiative focuses on educating people about the “not to be discussed taboo” of infertile women, motivate them through life stories of other women, etc. The website has provided a platform to the women of the state to discuss about the issue with experts and get proper advices.

Banerjee informed that according to reports of Challenges in Infertility Management (CIIM) Summit nearly 15 percent of the Indian population suffers from some form of infertility. Research in fact indicated that the country has witnessed a 20 to 30 percent rise in infertility cases in past five years. The volume of people affected by it sums up to more than 150 million and every year nearly 10 million new cases are being adding up in India. “It was revealed in the reports of CIIM-2014 summit that cases of male infertility now contribute to 60 percent of couples remaining childless, a sharp contrast to 40 percent in the year 1980,” she said. Research studies by other organisations have also stated that cases of infertility couples seeking treatment would rise in coming years. According to a 2012 report published by Allied Market Research, the global IVF market is expected to grow to 21.6 billion dollars by 2020, fuelled by an increasing demand for treatment.

World Health Organisation’s (WHO) report also states that one in every four couple in developing countries had been found to be affected by infertility. The new website will try to facilitate right guidance so that couples can take good decisions and stay away from misleading advertisements and fraud clinics, answer their queries by connecting them to experts, reinforcing their strength and hope, help them stand up and fight society’s stereotypes and prejudices. Banerjee informed that many women from the state has been noted interacting to experts through the website to acquire proper advices. Rashmi Pandey (name changed) informed that the website has helped her a lot in overcoming the situation and condition she was going through. She said that stories of lives of other women during the period of infertility have helped her fight the situation with strength.

Banerjee informed that she had conducted workshops and seminars over the issue at various places such as Delhi, Rishikesh and Dehradun. Informing about the expert panel present in her group to advice women suffering from the problem, Banerjee said that the doctors in the panel are from different forms of medicine such as acupressure, naturopathy, ayurveda, homeopathy and psychiatrist. She said that due to lack of education on the issue of infertility, doctors charge high amount from patients. “IVF costs nearly Rs 2 lakhs and a simple infertility test costs Rs 15 to 20 thousand,” Gitanjali said. Providing information about number of people visiting the website, Gitanjali informed that 54 percent of the visitors to the website are male and most of the queries regarding the issue are noted from metro cities like Delhi-NCR and Bangalore.

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