Tag: woman

I am woman

I am a woman, stubborn and strong willed
But also a girl, longing to be held
My dad’s lil girl
But also a Manager
I talk a lot
But love the silence
I can’t read maps
But love to travel
I dread growing old
But love my freedom
My tears may flow freely
But my strength is hidden deeply
I may hate for a moment
But I love for a lifetime
I am may be a huge cliché

But am still rare and special.

The faultless, the nationalist and the holier-than-thou.

Recently, I read in the social media about an Indian couple who beat up a wheelchair user in a theater for not standing during the national anthem in Goa. How sickening is this?

This is not an isolated incident in the country. These incidents, however, may not be called a trend, but has been increasingly reported in the last 10 years and very much in the media since past couple of years. It may be because these incidents have increased in past years or the media cover of these types of cases have increased. No matter whether it has increased or has been constant in the past 70 years of freedom, it definitely does not seem healthy for a free society.

People are openly beaten up or even lynched for eating certain kind of meat (beef). Couples are trashed in public parks for being together. Night parties have been attacked by a group of people who claim to be the makers of a better society (what an irony?). Some are even beaten up for not chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (Hail mother India)  as few believe it is the way to prove patriotism. A few media channels have promoted themselves from being neutral reporters to the judges of highest courts (of their own standards) by making judgments and declaring people guilty and even pointing out the anti-nationals.

 Poor people are beaten up for transporting cattle in the name of stopping the slaughter and are seized unlawfully, but later the cattle is sold by the same people for profit. This is one of the few businesses which includes no hard work but returns both fame and money.

The driver of a bigger vehicle would most probably be beaten up by passersby if he hits a smaller vehicle on the road even if it is not his fault. Tragically enough, people are more bothered to beat up the driver than to call an ambulance or take the victim to a hospital.

People from Bihar and UP have been trashed in their own country (in Mumbai) because some believe that they have the highest form of lawless behavior in the country. One must find out how lawful it is to beat somebody up unlawfully. In my opinion, it is nothing less than the Nazis who believed that Jews were the destroyers of the civilizations, however, they never realized that they themselves were the uncivilized and the real destroyers of civilization.

Everyone thinks they are better than the other person. Self-righteous people of every religion portray others as inferior all the time. Self-declared patriots threaten others’ right to celebrate patriotism in their own ways. Many of us do not miss any opportunity to point fingers at a person with a fault and sometimes, even without any fault, people beat up others just because they can.

Every time I hear about such incidents, one thing that comes to my mind is the incident where a woman was brought to Jesus convicted of adultery by the preachers of the laws and some self-righteous people. They asked Jesus whether the woman should be stoned, as the laws says an adulterous woman must be stoned to death. I admire what Jesus replied to this. He said “If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. Hearing the reply, all of them who accused the woman left the place one after another and as the verse emphasizes ‘the older ones first’. 😉 John – 8: 3-10.

In the same way, are we all not guilty of any sin? Are we not humans who commit mistakes in our daily lives? In other words, when Men visit brothels, it is gratifying their sexual needs but women in the brothels are called whores and secluded from the society in a way that jeopardizes their health and well-being. In addition to this, rapists and people indulging in violence against women in their homes are teaching how women should dress and when they should go out, under the banner of culture, tradition and religion.

If we take a moment and look within and be empathetic before we judge and disgrace others for their mistakes or raise our fingers, the world would be a much better place.

Let the law of the state, which is intended to maintain order in the society take its course. Why are we becoming so judgemental and self-righteous and taking law into our own hands?

Let he who is free of sin throw the first stone…

Finally, one thing I have observed in my life is that the higher the level of hypocrisy in a person the more judgmental she/he tends to be and more the finger pointing. I may be wrong in my observations, scientific study needed. LOL.

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”. Jesus in Matthew 7:5

Thanks

God bless

Women – Beyond all adjectives

It’s that time of the year when words like strong, independent, multitasker and a whole lot of adjectives are used to describe women and various events are held, women are appreciated and then we move on. I pride myself on being one of these, strong, independent working woman. But often these adjectives conjure an image of a certain type or class of women (If I may say so), women with professional careers, balancing their home and work etc. Very seldom, have I used these adjectives to describe women in the place I work in and I have also not come across many whom immediately think of women in rural areas.

But today, I met somebody, who embodies all of this and so much more. Sushma Devi, is 21 years old from a village in the Satbarwa Block. I have known her for the past 4 years since her husband used to work with us in the project.

She had come alone to the hospital, to get her 3 months old baby girl vaccinated. As she waited to go back, I met her; we talked and ended up having lunch together. As we talked she shared the challenges of living in a remote village, her dreams for her children (2 years and 3 month old children) and their education, the plans they had as a family. She also shared the stress and challenges with her work. It was not very different from what I am going through.

I manage a project for People with Disabilities with 8 staffs. She works for an organization in the post of “Active Woman”. The NGO works with SHGs and for women empowerment.  She manages about 140 women in 14 groups. She attends 3 meetings, a day and supervises their work. In addition, she manages her entire household, takes care of both her children and her sick mother-in-law. She is 21 years old and hasn’t completed her graduation since she had her delivery during her exams. She plans to write it again this year and wants to try for a better job. She is both a mother and a manager, now that is multitasking.

Even though she has a job outside, since her husband is busy with his work, the entire management falls on her delicate shoulders. Through all this, she had found time to study and pursue a higher education.

As we talked, I reflected on all the times, I complained about the amount of work I have, the difficulties, the stress and many other silly things but compared to her life, I have had the luxury of a comfortable life. There are many people who appreciate the work I do, encourage me and support me when I am done. I am not so sure, if she even has time to ventilate to anybody and seek comfort and encouragement. Also there is almost no one in her social circle to encourage her and appreciate her work which could motivate her to try harder or try different things. But she continues this pursuit without complaining and with a lot of determination.

I thought, I was strong and independent but after meeting her, I feel there are so many women who go about their daily life, unnoticed, unappreciated and unrecognised. They work in adverse conditions, managing their homes and families, being strong for them.

It hardly makes a difference in their lives, if its women’s day or if their efforts are appreciated. While the world celebrates Women’s day or week or month or women as heroes, there are many whose lives are untouched by all this. But they silently live each day, move on, selflessly doing what they do whether they are appreciated or not. They keep going because the only way to survive is to ‘Stay Strong’.

She is one among many, many women who are in similar situations. But I would take the liberty to say that she is among the few privileged ones as she has a good family and a very supportive husband. A Majority of the girls get married early and that is the only thing they are prepared for since they are born. They don’t even dare to dream. Although there is so much work going on for the empowerment of women, there are so many who do not enjoy the basic right to life- a life of dignity and fulfilment.

Often it feels like things might not ever change or take a long time but when there are women like Sushma, there is a glint of hope. With every woman she meets, am sure she leaves a trace of her determination and continues to inspire them. It’s these women who are the real heroes, who need to be encouraged, appreciated and enabled to continue to make a difference.

“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” – Helen Keller

Thank you

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: A Humbling Experience

It was one of our usual field visits, only a new village. But the reason for the post is quite different as it’s not the usual experience. It’s one of those instances which give you mixed feelings, heart warming yet cruelly disturbing.

Hope you feel mixed emotions too as you read on.

I was on a field visit to Nawagarh, one of villages with our physiotherapist. We were looking to meet children with disabilities, especially those with whom we could work toward some physical rehabilitation. These visits are especially painful as we get to see children with impairments that could have been prevented, disabilities that have been caused by lack of basic services or means and families undergoing lifelong suffering due to ignorance and proper guidance.

Today was no different, meeting hopeful families just to tell them that there is no cure or just encourage them to keep looking after their children. One of our visits was to Tamana Khatun, a 10 year old girl with severe Cerebral palsy affecting both her cognition and her movement.

Like every other visit, a group of women, children had gathered to watch us speak to the family and meet Tamana. When asked for her family an elderly man explained the situation of the child, emotionless as though he had read the facts of a medical chart.   I formed my own opinion of him as the father in law, the head of the household who hardly cared about a girl with Cerebral Palsy. His following comments confirmed my opinions about him (So I thought!!!). He blatantly announced that the family hadn’t paid attention to the child since she was a girl and it would be pointless spending money on something which would provide no return.

I was a little shocked that he spoke so openly, as people try to pretend to care in front of outsiders. We then asked to speak to her mother and the mother was not to be found among all the women spectators. She came through after a while of searching, a small frail lady in her early twenties. Although she answered our queries about her child’s condition, she didn’t seem to grasp the reality of the situation and the therapy plans for her daughter. It was only the old man who kept responding.

I was annoyed at the irony of the situation, a mother who cared but couldn’t fully comprehend the therapy plan and an old man who was able to understand but didn’t care. As we turned to leave, I stopped to privately ask the mother, how many other children she had and if they could help out in therapy. She said Tamana was her only daughter, that came as a surprise- ONLY DAUGHTER, Something didn’t seem right, so I enquired about her husband, only to find out that he had deserted her after their daughter was born. I just had to ask the next question, whose house was this? And who was that old man? Her answer humbled me, this was her father’s house and that old man was her father.

The man who said he didn’t care and didn’t want to spend on a girl was in reality taking care of two girls, his daughter deserted by her husband and his granddaughter who has cerebral palsy. His actions spoke way louder than his words. His words were from a deep rooted culture but his actions from a deep rooted love.

As we were driving back, various thoughts flooded my head ranging from embarrassment and guilt at assuming the worst of someone to knowing that humanity still had a chance as long as there was love and that no matter who we are, it’s our actions that speak louder than our words.

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Thank You