Saturday, 29 June 2019

PaalaGuttaPalle Bags, an interview, and women strength

A girl called up to interview me about the PaalaGuttaPalle bags. From a feminist perspective.
I gave the whole story, as much as one can pack a world into half an hour.
The immense strength and power of these women. Poor, landless, assetless. But rich in courage, faith, perserverance.
Then she wanted to know how the women had been burdened in their efforts because of thir gender. The patriarchy.
I could find nothing.
In this effort the liabilities that have faced have been due to poverty, lack of connections, remoteness of their village. Each hurdle they have taken on with perseverance and crossed. Every work they have chosen to do on their own. From handling the transport yard, to carrying the huge bales. To dealing with recalcitrant post office staff. To travelling for exhibitions to far away places. Goa. Tanuku.
As women. Together.
The men have helped when there was overload. Sometimes the husbands sit and patiently fold the cloth as the women do the skilled job on the machine. When needed, they do the travel to the post office.
The girl asked if the men overburden the women. No. The men are responsible fathers. The women are responsible mothers. And together they strive to circumvent hard times.
Yes, this is a womens group. The work is theirs. But I could not find any patriarchy to quote here.
Yes, strength. Immense strength. Understated, but all powerful.
The streng
th of Indian women. The strength of Indian villages.

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