Jul 072008

The Flower Girl

normally street kids don’t approach cars with their windows up and the AC on…. it is too much waste of time, they are possibly better off approaching open ricks or cars with their windows down. this girl maybe thought that i would be interested in flowers, or she saw rani in the car and thought dry shelter …. i don’t know..

… she reminded me of Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘Little Match Girl’. Her eyes haunted me. I volunteer, i contribute, i don’t cheat on my taxes, i help where ever i can … why do I still feel so helpless….

Jan 252006

Two very different kind of stories that caught the eye today. One of a girl who said NO.

When 13-year-old Minati Gagaria from Orissa bags a bravery award from President A P J Abdul Kalam on Wednesday, she will symbolise a punchy protest against the ancient tribal custom of child marriages. Gagaria, who had almost become a victim of this practice, escaped her fate and a 50-year-old bridegroom by fleeing into a nearby forest, thereby becoming a role model for the tribal girls who face family pressures to marry young. "After spending seven days in a dense forest, I became confident of facing the situation. I can’t sacrifice my life for this evil practice. I knew that I cannot change the system but I thought one has to raise a protest. So I decided to fight it," said Gagaria, all set to receive the prestigious National Bravery Award on Republic Day eve.

And a society that stood by:

She was first forced to leave her husband’s house, and then the family was ostracised. Not content to let Dolly Bibi live in peace, about 1,000 people got together to witness her being caned 100 times, even as the local legislator and the block development officer watched.

The administration stands by as local fiefs mete out punishment!

Dolly was meted out the punishment on Sunday at Gakunda, Murshidabad, for having gone to Rajasthan with a man ‘who was not her husband’ in July 2005. Dolly claimed said she had done nothing wrong as the man concerned, Suraj Haldar, was her "dharam bhai". Haldar was also accompanied by his family.

It is strange that none of the major political parties are doing anything about ensuring that the constitutional rights of the citizen is protected. I wonder whether it is because they don’t see women as a vote block? Aside. in another conversation with mom on the state of the state – she said indians end up worshipping those that we desecrate – the cow, the woman, the river…….

Oct 302005

This from the DNA

A labourer’s wife has been sold off by his employer because of the former’s inability to repay debt in Gothada village of the district, police said on Friday.

Kanwarlal used to work at Karulal’s farm along with his wife, Shardabai. Kanwarlal used to take credit from the farm owner and the debt on his head had accumulated to Rs 5,000.

Unable to repay the debt, the labourer left his wife with his employer around three months back.

The victim kept working in the accused’s farm. Shardabai was sold off to Nandram Gayari 25 days back for Rs 10,000.

Upon learning about the incident, her relatives informed police. And the police have arrested Karulal and Nandram, while twoother accused were still at large.

My first reaction on reading this was OMG – how can this happen.
On the second reading – the reaction was, “is the case an exception or is it fairly normal”. obviously the ‘husband’ had no problems leaving the wife with the employer.
obviously the employer had no problems reselling the woman to the next person.
And no one blinks an eye lid.

Oct 132005

She strangled her first two babies to death because they were girls, terminated two other pregnancies because the foetuses were female and lost two baby boys to infections acquired in infancy. Married at 18, Ranu, from Rajasthan, is now fiercely protective of her only remaining offspring, a baby boy.

Yet she and her husband Muktar have no remorse about the fate of their “missing” daughters. “I will kill other children if they are girls,” Ranu said, explaining that she is too poor to pay for their weddings.

Read more of the article here.