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Monday, January 27, 2014

MANY FACES OF WOMEN



Whenever I go for my ritualistic walk in the forenoon, I'm privy to such common sights very often on the roads encircling my favorite park. The laws are lax and villagers use our roads as short cuts. A few days back somehow, I was inspired to click a particular twosome with their children in tow.

Our community which is known as 'Urban Estate' is carved out of  acres of uncultivated Govt. land and is sandwiched between villages inhabited by poor and lower class people with small holdings or daily wage earners- carpenters, masons, plumbers, iron smiths, gardeners et al. All sorts of handy men. Some small farmers by dint of hard work saved enough money, bought more land and acquired a new status of  being farmers. Over time, they've become economically strong and own all household gadgets, bikes and even cars. Their children go to English Schools in buses, wearing neat and clean uniforms and look much smarter than their parents.

Irrespective of caste and creed every one in these villages has progressed economically and also in social awareness, within a few years. The change is more apparent among women folk. Their eagerness to improve their lives is exemplary.They move out wearing clean clothes, hair in buns and washed faces.

Wives of many of the artisans and working class people in these villages work as maids and cooks in our community and earn handsome wages plus invaluable interaction with educated people and off days in between. Actually these maids call the shots and all try to help them with money and pieces of advice. In fact the demand for them outstrips the supply. They are smart and energetic, possess mobile phones, exchange  information with their mistresses in emergencies.

However, there is one segment, though  better than before, still lags behind in pro-activity. It is to this group that the above women seem to belong to. Their men, lazy and addicted to intoxicants- which are freely available- miss work days often because of recurrent illnesses  and remain cooped in their own unhealthy practices. They don't allow their wives to work out of ignorance. Hence they wallow in poverty. The women have to go to collect dry  fallen  twigs from the trees standing on both sides of the highway to cook food. After the back breaking exercise of couple of hours,  they stoically manage to feed  their brood.  Still they appear to be happy with their lot as I found one of them busy talking on the phone and smiling. Another thing which is conspicuous is that no man is ever seen carrying  such bundles.It is always a woman's prerogative.

I wonder why these women don't send their children to school even as education up-to middle school is free and compulsory. The reason obviously is parents' apathy. 

Friends, welcome to say something.

10 comments:

  1. Beautifully captured and the picture tell story!!

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  2. nicely put. i think it is parents apathy and missing knowledge on importance of education.

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  3. Thanks Amar! No two views that ignorance among these people breed apathy.

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  4. Education is the single most important factor in uplifting people. Wish we can make everyone educated.

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    1. Thanks Sabyasachi ! So true! I've observed that poor people who make efforts to educate their children are benefiting a lot in gaining awareness about the opportunities to improve the lot of the whole family.

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  5. Unawareness is the culprit! They can only see that a child if starts to work earlier, he can help in their household... They don't know that education empowers them to earn more...

    Regards,
    Sindhu
    Tantu
    The Arts & Me

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  6. Thanks a lot Sindhu for coming and for the lovely comment.You're right such parents think of short time earnings and don't realize that sending them to school will ultimately ensure much better wages.

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  7. The educational pattern we follow is so out of date. It doesn't prepare us according to the present market needs. Poor people won't learn just for the sake of learning. They would learn if education allows them to earn ie, learning for the sake of earning. Things need to change. I don't how whether they will or not.

    A nice observation being shared. :)

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  8. Thanks Namrata for a very pertinent observation. What we need is, teaching the poor kids lower level skills, may be after 8th standard. As construction activity is booming in India, we need well trained electricians,plumbers,carpenters, masons and other handy men who can deliver quality services which are woefully lacking in our country. In the agriculture sector, repair jobs for tools and machinery are there to be tapped. All this requires vision and implementation of that vision. We speak lofty ideas and blank on how to execute those ideas.

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