Name of storyteller: Devika Rai
Project and location: Prescription to Play (P2P) Khagochen Primary Health Center
I got the information about the parenting program through the BHU, i.e. HA, sir and sister who had called for a meeting about the availability of the parenting program for young children and its benefits. I have two children and my eldest son now studies in grade one in Daleythang LSS. The youngest is one year and two months old. His birthday was yesterday. I did not get the opportunity to participate during my first child’s time because such a parenting program was not conducted by the BHU so during my first child, I had no understanding about caring for children, talking and playing with them and nobody told me about such things. Now I participate in the session with my child, learn about activities and practice with my child and the whole thing lasts for around three hours.
In the olden days, the belief was children grow up as time passes by and no one knew about the importance of playing games with young children and how it helps brain development. Through the program, I learned about playing games with children like him, such as for his age, making sounds with household utensils, making towers and knocking down, and sewing bags. I also learned about songs like calling babies names and singing with them. After participating in the program I realized that even young children like mine can interact by enjoying songs and dancing with us even if they don’t know how to do it properly. In the past no such programs were done by BHU, we simply used to go and do the regular check of children like getting their height, and weight and coming back, but now during the MCH clinics, there are a lot of things happening. We get to mix up with other caregivers and build relationships and my child also gets to mix up with other children and is not shy. On the first day, he was shy but not anymore.
I feel it has brought a lot of changes in myself in the way I interact with my child. Now my younger child has learned the games and songs and I can see a lot of improvements as he understands more. For myself, I have been able to spend time with him like talking and playing with him anytime and feel connected and very close to each other I also get to talk to other mothers and children so it’s nice to be able to spend and talk to about our children and make friends with other mothers. Previously we just went there for MCH and we did not make friends with others. We went there finished the MCH and came back straight home.
Yes Sister and HA sir have helped let us know about the parenting program and the importance of playing and talking to children which will help our child grow healthy and happy. They conduct the sessions and let us know about games activities, and songs for different age groups. In the olden days people do not give importance to talking to children but now that has changed in the community.