It’s been a long time since I wrote, much of this is because I was seeing if it would be appropriate to write or not given the setting in which I work. However I would love to tell stories, stories that keep me going, stories I wonder about, for their sheer truth rural India offers. Here are two of them
I go to a household in Haryana trying to ensure the villagers have toilets and hear a moving story. A lady in 40s tells me that she has 3 adolescent daughters and how it is a real problem for them to go out in the open. I specially recommend construction of a toilet asap. The next day as work is to be started my team finds that she was lying. She had a toilet built up a bit far from the house. I wonder why did she lie, if she had said she has issues in using them, I would still have considered it. The problem with the experience is that once you hear another such a story I would be suspicious, in case there is a real family that has 3 adolescent daughters it would be hard for me to believe it is a true story. The question now is how we filter them the fake from the truth because they both come so many times in a day
In this place I rarely see women who are empowered. I saw one today. In a Primary health clinic in one of the villages I meet a staff nurse. In such a setup the doctor is never there in the evening- they are all on call 24×7, Oh ya do not know why they call 24×7. The staff nurse comes to this, out in the blue village 25 kms far on a bus that only runs twice a day. She has a night shift and is worried about her safety. What does she do? She hires a woman from the village to provide company and have someone by her side in case she needs it. Instead of complaining she finds a way, being unmarried and given the eve teasing, I am sure she has a very hard time, but she still does her best in a male dominated society, trying to provide services to people who need it most. In such a setup with no cleaning staff, a place where the chowkidaar is not provided by government but hired by the doctors themselves and has not got his monthly wages in 6 months. We still have a few who have the heart, treat rural women with care they truly deserve. The staff nurse was one.
It’s been two months since I penned some thoughts, looks words come by a bit difficult when all you do is executionL.