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29 year old Kaushalya lives near the small viallage of Manpur Machedi, in Jaipur, India. Her community is very poor, and while many of the women she knows want to choose if and when they have children, they’re not always able to access family planning services that would allow them to do that.
Kaushalya has four children. And for her and her husband, that’s their family complete. While they’d been able to get condoms locally, they hadn’t been able to access long-acting methods until recently. That changed when Kaushalya heard about the Marie Stopes India outreach team that was setting up a temporary clinic near her home.She attended and was told about all the choices available including the five-year IUD which she chose.“What a relief. In five years, I will come back to Marie Stopes for another IUD. It’s the only place I can get one and it’s the only thing that really stops me from having to worry about getting pregnant.”It’s this sense of releif that she’s been keen to share with her friends. In her community, a lot of her friends and neighbours don’t want to have any more children – rather they want to use what money they have to bring up the children they have.“My husband and I both tell our friends and people in our community about Marie Stopes. Family planning has made such a difference for us and we want to make sure people know what’s available to them. I know nine women who have started using family planning after my recommendation.”Visits from the Marie Stopes team mean that women like Kaushalya are able to make choices about the way they live their lives.But despite the fact that India’s economy is booming, there are still large numbers of people living in extreme poverty who aren’t able to make these choices. In fact, around 46 million girls and women living in India are unable to access family planning even theough they want it.
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