Monday, June 1, 2015

Rising Women Of Chhattisgarh

 Women of Chhattisgarh are hardly talked about. Chhattisgarh as a state is only in news when there is a Naxal attack, and it is sad that the development of the region and the people is neglected in media. Photo-walking a corner of Raipur led me to discover these jewels.

Santoshi, age- unknown

"I do not know my age, because I am not educated enough to know all that. I don't even know when I got married, but my husband is supportive of me. He works as a driver. I handle this all by myself."

 Priya Mishra, 25 years. 

I have studied till 12th. I handle this restaurant, I drive a four wheeler and also, I work in a magazine. I am a reporter, and I actually also work in an NGO, Marriage is not on my cards yet, lots of work to do. Never in my family was I told to not do something. I was just told not to dance, I wanted to learn.

Noor, 50 years

I got married when I was 14. Now world is changing so girls get married when they ought to, but I don't feel sad. It is fine, I have been working ever since. In this generation, girls are doing really well, equal to and better than boys. 

                                                           Leena Gaikwad 35 years

"I hold a degree in Electronics and Communication. I worked with Reliance, had to come down home to Raipur because of various family issues. They needed a helping hand. I always was interested in fashion, and business, so I combined both of that and now I have a business of my own. This is my boutique, and I run it all by myself. I have been independent since Class 6th, never was I stopped from doing anything. Also, I have polio. But that didn't stop me. That drove me, actually. Girls and boys are the same, girls have to handle a hundred more things because theirs is a role tied to both domestic and industrial realms."

Preeti Turkane, 22 years

"I have been an LIC agent, I completed my first year now. I don't like to take money from parents for my education so I try to do my best to fund my life-needs. I also work by imparting information for  filling forms for the Mahila Samooh in Grameen Seva. Also, I play tennis, volleyball and run 8 kms everyday. I like wearing what I want to, no one has stopped me from doing that. In fact, my father buys me jeans and skirt. So all's well."

Indu, 27 years

" I am a B.COM graduate, I joined this work recently. I travel all the way from Bhilai to work here. Marriage? That will happen when it has to. No one told me how to act as a girl or anything, my father never restricted me. In fact he scolds the boys at home if they do something wrong. They never asked me where did you go, who did you go with. Never have they asked me. And that is great of my parents."

She was too shy to tell her name. She is learning tailoring, and is learning to live on her own terms. Well, she is just 18.

Kiran Sahu and Meenakshi Turkane, learning tailoring.

  Kiran is a graduate, and she was a very robust woman. She grilled me for 10 minutes and also said "representation is needed for Chhattisgarh." She did not want to make the head-tailor angry so I took a quick photograph.

Meenakshi, on the other hand is just 18 who has passed her 10th recently. She says she isn't doing this for earning, but learning. The L before the the earning makes all the difference!

Radha Singh, 35 years.

 I earn well and I like this job, security and helping people out in the mall. It is a simple job with no restraints whatsoever. My husband passed away, and the idea of sitting jobless at home sickened me. I couldn't study beyond Class 5, father was suffering from a very debilitating disease. But it is okay, I like working and I am happy.

These two were too busy, I did not want to disturb them. Both of them work in my apartment, and help it keeping it clean. Both of them said "Yes women should come forward, and they have."

Just crossing the road, and I had 10 examples of amazing women in two hours. And we are a country of a population which crosses the billion mark. You do the math, and you will be proud to live in a country with such great revolutionaries. Not only the ones who come printed on your note, but the ones who just pass you by and are changing lives every second. 


Barun K. Sakhajee said...
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Leena Gaikwad said...

Thank you