Sawan Khaskheli Badin
Sharifan Saand, a peasant woman in village Jumo Saand, near flourishing town Tando Fazul, Hyderabad district, carrying her five-year old daughter, said the baby does not show healthy growth despite family’s efforts to provide required food and medical treatments.
The mother has four other children as well — all as weaker as per standard growth.
The reasons are different: lack of exclusive breastfeeding, inadequate complementary feed, unhealthy childcare practices, lacking diverse food, living in unhygienic conditions, unsafe drinking water and above all consuming Manpuri (a form of chewable like a gutka).
Sharifan’s husband works at a brick kiln unit on daily wages basis and can hardly earn Rs 2000—2500 per week.
Irony is that the husband also chews Manpuri, spending a major share of their daily income. Each manpuri costs Rs 20 to 50, depending on its quantity and quantity.
Sharifan Saand, 35, is among a large number of lactating mothers who is regularly chewing Manpuri, which not only causes health risks, but also impacts the lactating infants.
Lactating mothers often do not know the dire consequences of chewing Manpuri as it contains tobacco and other harmful ingredients.
Jumo Saand village comprises around 60 family, most of them agriculture farmers or working at brick kiln units located near the village.