I have moved like a lot of us due to academics, job and now due to family. Mumbehn is now in Bangalore. However the love for Mumbai still holds strong. Hope is to grow and move on to better roles professionally and personally. The agenda of the blog will be the same revolving around my days in Bangalore.
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I felt conscious of my gender only post puberty. I will attribute it to be born in a progressive India where families with means did not think before educating their girl child and family planning was not a bad word. To say the least I have been the beneficiary of the “No tuition fee for girls/women” till the time I completed my graduation in my home state. I have been working in a company where the policies are in place to ensure equal treatment for all sex and proper redressal systems are in place. But I have to be appreciative of the work that has gone into what is the present scenario for women in independent India.
Unlike many countries we in India did not have to fight for women franchise or property rights( though this has not been right from the start with amendments being made in 1956 and also 2005). I can choose my representatives, be the owner of a property and choose to earn a living. But am I speaking for only urban India. Well there is a wage disparity between rural and urban women which has been attributed to the nature of the work, however at least from the system point of view there is an option being provided to these rural women. As per studies carried out, even in rural India there has been considerable change in the respect earned by women after the 73rd and 74th amendment. But education seems to be the least of their worries, what rural women are lacking most is access to a toilet, having a pucca residence and access to healthcare.
But irrespective of gender to get what is yours you need to claim it. Lobbying for your rights and asking for comparable amenities and facilities is required. Gender sensitive work places are required, women don’t need to be treated as special but as equals.
I grew up in a nuclear family in a small city where I routinely helped my mom out with house work to help her get some free time which she could later spend with me. I had the best childhood possible and enjoyed the time I had growing up. I had loving parents who ensured I had the necessary things and skills to be an independent person.But many children in India are maybe being forced to augment the family income by way of helping out the parent’s at their work places or by having to work themselves in miserable conditions.
As urban India is being made aware of these ills , I do appreciate that children now are much more aware and conscientious when it comes to child labor and the fall outs of a stolen child hood. I used to blow up fire crackers every Diwali unfailingly without realizing that most of these were being made by children my age in Sivakasi ; but look at what awareness and public reaction to doing the right thing has done compared to a decade ago when I was a kid. The numerous news articles on child labor in Sivakasi, documentaries being made and their eventual public screenings leads to change. Widespread public boycott has lead to these small firms to adopt the economical thing to do: adopt automation and abandon child labor to some extent. Unfortunately don’t have the data to show by what percentage the involvement of children this dangerous job has reduced, but doubt that it is due to the introduction of any law cos despite the Child Labor (Prohibition & Regulation) Act being in place from 1986 , there have been only a small number of erring factory owners who have been prosecuted. I think the buzz word to convert these businessmen would be to show them the incentives involved in adopting automation not just zero risk of being prosecuted but also positive returns when it comes to the balance sheet.
But my worry is that what defines child labor, is a child’s wish to help his struggling family by right to work a criminal thought? I know the counter argument is there are subsidies and policies in place to help people with minimum subsistence; however there is a long process to get this assistance and it sometimes the delay leads to a question of survival. The child is faced with a real scary situation while probably being shown the hope of a rosy future at schools and shelters if he is lucky enough to have access to them.
The bridge to this gap is realizing that the business man what is best for his business , the child wants to dream and survive and that the lucky Indians realizing their bit by spreading the word about child rights only then will we truly be a youthful country.
Welcome to Mumbehn’s lair! Well at least the imaginary place where some coherent and absurd thoughts co-exist in peace.
The reason why this blog exists because my permanent sound board is M.I.A for some time so needed a place where I can bounce off and frame my thoughts.
What can be expected, nothing totally out of the expected the usual suspects some rants, some trivia, some soul searching and some thoughts I want to share so kindly bear with me.
Views expressed are mine only and I encourage differing views. I would appreciate if the readers use their own sense of judgement and rational opinion.