Display No. 12
Some nineteenth century healthcare workers and missionaries would try to convert women in India to Christianity when they were pregnant, and even whilst giving birth. Nightingale was a devout Christian but she thought this was inappropriate.
Writing to the Duke of Westminster in 1896 Nightingale described her plan to:
“introduce in India native women health missioners to bring health among native rural mothers, by showing them what to do as friends.”
India is highly culturally diverse and Nightingale understood that this would only work if these women shared the same language, religion, and customs. Hinduism is just one of the religions of the Indian subcontinent and even within this faith there are varied traditions.
This photograph shows a modern Indian healthcare worker providing guidance on caring for children, something which Nightingale advocated for.
Health worker giving nutrition education, India. Credit: John & Penny Hubley. CC BY 4.0