- WE AND OUR VILLAGE
- Village interventions.
- Village - a deeply cultured place
- Village stories and philosophy
- Annapurna and Others
- Stories of my children
- Day by day in the village.
- Health in the Village
- Schooling and education
- Enounters with the modern
- Learnings from Narmada
- Learnings Down the Years
Thursday, 26 September 2019
Untouchability in the Village
This is a story I wish I did not have to share.
Yesterday I got a phonecall from a lady after reading our story in Sakshi. She wanted to make a youtube video on the women. On their bag enterprise. On their successes.
I gave her Roopa's number and she co-ordinated with her and went to the village, finding her way.
The women handled the video shoot and interview with grace as always.
The lady then informed then that she would stay at night.
Roopa called up. "Madam, they will stay in your home."
Me, "Why Roopa, its a corner home, and she may not care for the mud floors. Keep her in one of your homes."
Silence greeted me at the other end of the phone.
After I repeated myself, there was a reluctant agreeing. Very reluctant agreeing. I put down the phone in exasperation.
... later, today, "Madam, we were not sure if they would be willing to stay in our homes. Even for dinner we asked them what they would do, and they said they would eat in our homes, and only after that we cooked
One never knows ... "
It was a slap on my face today. A hard tight slap.
These are women, infinitely gracious in hospitality and goodness. And capable beyond dreams as they have shown in their products.
And yet, their caste stays alive in their minds and hearts ... and bends them down.