Things that (continue to) happen to Indian women.

What kind of society tolerates misogynists preaching about banning self reliance, banning independence, banning being heard and being seen, banning communication and opportunities, banning mobiles, jeans, support networks and socialising, or banning  anything that could facilitate to Choice-Marriages?

1. It is legal for women to choose who they wish to marry or live with, but anybody can make statements that incite parents to deny their daughters this right.

“Our mothers, sisters….did they die if there were no mobiles during their time,” [Link shared by Sandhya]

I say this at all the places where I make my speeches. And if any of these kids have a mobile, take them away. What are they missing anyway? What are the girls missing without mobile,” Rajya Sabha MP Rajpal Singh Saini said.”
“Our mothers, sisters….did they die if there were no mobiles during their time,” he said addressing party workers in Muzaffarnagar on Sunday night.

Saini also reportedly conveyed this view to a man who sought his help after his daughter had eloped.
The BSP leader told him that the mobile phone was the main cause behind his daughter’s elopement.

Nearly all the controls on women are based on their being expected to Get Married and Stay Married to someone their family/community has chosen for them. Please read how denying mobiles (and other freedoms) to girls is related to Sex Selection and Dowry Deaths, here.

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.

2. The social stigma against young Indians choosing their own partners means crimes like this are frequently not taken as seriously as they should be.

Gulbarga train was burned to kill lovers: Police

Couple’s hands and feet were tied

…A witness to the events in the stationary train, Naseema, 40, told police that four persons barged into the bogie, closed the window shutters and poured kerosene before setting the bogie on fire. “The girl’s body was found with her hands and legs tied with her dupatta (veil) and the boy’s body was found in a position as if his hands and legs were tied with a rope. Before fleeing, the four miscreants cried “Chal be chal, kaam ho gaya!” indicating that the foursome had a hand in setting alight the boy and girl,” said a senior police officer. The police, however, are awaiting their postmortem reports before declaring it a hate crime.

3.  How do you think would these male students with ‘prying eyes’ view women in the society with rules like this?

Aren’t schools supposed to teach them that women are people not bodies to wrapped and protected?

Face it, teachers cloak in aprons to dodge cams 

KOCHI: Managements of several private schools in Kerala want women teachers to adopt a dress code to avoid prying eyes of male students. They have suggested teachers wear an apron or an overcoat “to cover themselves properly” in class.

…”We also received many complaints that unruly comments about teachers’ anatomy appearing as graffiti on toilet walls,” Khan said. “This decision has been taken only to ensure proper respect for their privacy. We don’t want to hurt anyone by implementing this.”

I personally believe that teachers are role models and need to dress in a decent manner, whether there is a dress code or not,” said Kerala CBSE School Management Association general secretary Indira Rajan.

No matter what they wear, saree, salwars or jeans, women can not cover themselves enough so long as they are expected to become invisible to ‘prying eyes of male’ anybody.

4. This is how vulnerable Get Married-Stay Married makes women (and their families).

Read what this brother (traditionally responsible for protecting a sister’s marriage and honor) did so that his ‘sister would not have to face the wrath of her husband’.

Man kidnaps five-year-old boy to give him to his childless sister

The police said that the accused, Rakesh Raghuvanshi, wanted to help his sister by kidnapping Manthan.Rakesh’s sister, who was married for the past 20 years, was childless … “He thought that by giving Manthan to her sister, their family problems would be solved and her sister would not have to face the wrath of her husband,” police officials said.

5. The wrath of an Indian husband.

And here’s what the wrath of an Indian husband can lead to (amongst thousands of other things like acid attacks, padlocked genitals etc). Remember we teach Indian men, when they are in school, that women’s bodies are everybody’s business.

A man allegedly suspended his 38-year-old wife upside down, tonsured her head and put chilli powder in her private parts.

With the help of his brothers. The man suspected his wife was involved with another man of the same village.

[Link shared by Tikuli, on facebook]

6. 35 year old under trial jail inmate started behaving abnormally (scared), found pregnant. 

When a society sees women as sexual objects to be protected from prying eyes, and not as humans, it makes women extremely vulnerable to such horrible crimes.

Inmate treated for mental illness, found pregnant in MP jail

A 35-year-old under-trial woman who was housed in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua jail and later brought to Indore district jail is found pregnant. However, it is not clear whether she became pregnant in Jhabua or Indore district jail. Director general (prisons) has ordered a probe.

Anitabai was lodged in Jhabua jail on January 18 on charge of killing her mother-in-law. She was brought to the mental hospital around 4 days ago.

On the court orders, the inmate was sent to the mental hospital after she started behaving abnormally. Sources at the mental hospital, requesting anonymity, said she is scared and her behaviour shows she has been the victim of atrocities.

6. And even today some women die because they become mothers.

I had blogged about Karishma’s mother, who died after giving birth on a filthy roadside in Shanker Market. She could have been saved. [link].

And now,

Damini’s mother died due to anaemia five days after she was born. With no close relatives on hand rickshaw puller Babloo decided to take his small daughter with him to work. But, being out in the open eventually took its toll on the infant and she fell ill. At just 1.4 kilos, she is severely malnourished and is also suffering from a blood infection. Doctors say she will probably need transfusion.

This rickshaw puller has a child strapped to his chest [link shared by Shaloo]

 

Would it help if women have a voice, and if women don’t have to spend so much time trying to become invisible?

25 thoughts on “Things that (continue to) happen to Indian women.

  1. I have always wondered why boys/men are exempted from distraction? Women should cover up, women should not laugh loudly, women should sit properly with legs folded, women should not talk much, women should know how to adjust circumstances well, women should know how to be submissive and now women should not use mobile phones…restrictions and more restrictions seem to be coming in womens’s way….phew!!!!!

    • It’s because of the medieval patriarchal notions that sex is something that (only) men desire, and that women can and should use as a bargaining chip.

      In this world-view, women must restrict access to men who haven’t “earned” access as much as possible, up to and including disappearing totally from public view by staying at home as much as possible, and wearing a tent whenever going out in public is absolutely necessary.

      Men are extempted from being considered distracting because the possibility that women might be distracted and/or tempted by a good-looking man in skimpy clothing is not considered – which is logical in a world-view that doesn’t consider women as sexual creatures at all.

      Also, in this world-view women are considered property, and their sexuality is one of the things that give them value. This “value” must be preserved and reserved for their rightful owner. Thus the insistence on “virginity” – a woman with a sexual history is considered less worthy, and by having sex at her own discretion she is, in effect, stealing something of value from the rightful owner – her husband. (she herself is not considered to own her own body)

      Yes it’s medieval. Yes it’s inhumane. Yes it’s evil.

      The good news is that lots of the noise you see about such issues today, exists because today this world-view is under attack. And like a cornered rat it fights back. But make no mistake about it: we’ll stomp that rat, any chance we get.

    • Men are by nature very insecure but they are conditioned from a very early age to appear as if they are unbeatable, in-charge and in control. If not, they are seen as not being manly enough, so it’s no wonder that no ‘normal’ man would own up to the fact that vivacious women turn them ‘on’. The easy way out is to blame the women and thus absolve oneself from the guilt. Anyone who has read ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ will get what I’m saying.

      Trust me I know what I’m saying…. I’m a man who had been through these feelings and come to identify the root cause and eliminate it.

  2. In a country which is used to blaming the victim instead of punishing the culprit, life never was easy for a woman. Add to it the fact pace at which we are moving backwards towards a black hole.

    • I don’t think you’re moving backwards. I think the increased noise about this issue today is a *good* sign. It used to be that people accepted the state of this without complaint, today people speak up and protest. Which causes more noise.

      I don’t think many women in India would’ve published something like this blog 20 years ago, today, many do – including our beloved host. This is progress.

  3. Sigh. As long as we keep looking at women as commodities that are ‘given’ from one male to the other, nothing is going to change. As long as there are still men who think rape is about sex and not power, and women are somehow ‘accessible’ because of the clothes they wear, this is still going to be the case. Wonder if there’s still any hope.

  4. Yep. Women (like me) who are in a position to protest against all this nonsense need to raise their voice. Don’t be quite when someone says something sexist to you. Don’t just put up with ill-treatment and adjust. Condemn the statements of NCW people and Haryana ministers trying to impose restrictions on women. Get all the sane men you know to join you too. We need our own Suffragette movement really. People are not just going to give us equal rights to freedom and life, because it suits them not to. You have to claim your own equal rights.

    I know it sounds wishy washy, but it’s really the only way. What IHM is doing through this blog is great. All of us need to start with our own lives. Don’t put up with ill-treatment of any kind and when people express misogynistic ideas, be vocal in disagreeing with them. Change can only begin with girls’ parents and then the women themselves. Let’s refuse to listen to this nonsense for our daughters, refuse to pay dowries and let’s refuse to be Ekta Kapoor’s ideal woman in our daily lives. Also let’s say that to people in our lives so they might think twice about how they treat their daughters too.

    These things always happened but now we’re thinking about them and the media picks them up as sensationalist pieces. In a way this is a step forward. There was probably a time when this ‘ban mobiles’ speech wouldn’t even have made it to the news. It’s being picked up now because it is considered controversial enough, which is good! We need to make it more controversial and make it the wrong thing to say and do.

  5. @ Sandhya
    When men try to explain and understand the world, the gender balance ends up tilting towards men in general. And when men are the loudest voices talking about being supposedly distracted by women, they are the ones heard the most. And partly because a lot of men in purdah/honour societies would like to keep a tab on ‘their’ women because of their own sexual insecurities (culturally ingrained) or their warped idea of honour/masculinity/religious piety (again, culturally ingrained).
     
    To be the devil’s advocate though, I think the last one was a classic case of malnutrition arising out of extreme poverty. I am not sure if people in this blog are familar with it, rickshaw pullers in India have not only to battle with impoverishment, but also goons masquerading as legitimate unions and rickshaw owners who would rather bleed them dry. The little income they are able to get end up in basic essentials and house rent (if they can afford it and not sleep in the streets/tents). A lot of them die in the winters in Delhi, because of a lack of shelter from the extreme cold and its associated illness. I think the plight of the very poor is something that middle and upper class Indians have to familiarise themselves with, no matter whatever greater social ideology that you hold/abide by.

    • That’s the whole point. As a society, we have our priorities completely wrong.

      Instead of ensuring that all Indians have universal access to food, education, healthcare and housing, our lawmakers spend their time ensuring that things change as little as possible.

      That BSP MP seems to think girls using cellphones is a bigger cause for concern than malnutrition, lack of governance, poor healthcare and high infant mortality.

      Teenage girls using cellphones? Much anguish and handwringing. Poor people dying in Delhi’s harsh winters? Meh.

    • I have to agree with Atheist Indian here. The rikshaw-puller whose wife died was, in all likelihood, someone who did the best he could under appalling circumstances. It’s a little unseemly to lump him in with genuine cases of patriarchal repression.

    • I am not one to blame society, but demagogy. The biggest consumers of news, be it via print or broadcasting media, are middle class Indians. They are the only ones with the leisure and luxury to view, opine, be outraged or gladdened by news. Poverty or homelessness of the extreme poor does not generate outrage or interest, since the target audience for daily news isn’t threatened by these serious social problems. Hence the news media chooses to highlight rapes, car thefts or even an isolated incident of road rage shooting at the expense of reporting poverty, injustice or even outright class/gender violence against slum dwellers or the homeless in Delhi. When these issues are highlighted, they are usually done in a mathematically aggregate, statistical manner – rather than trying to emphasise with the human element of the victims. How many people actually care about a rickshawalla’s life when they board a rickshaw or damage his means of livelihood with their cars?
       
      The reason why the BSP MPs, Mamata Bannerjee or the NCW in Karnataka get away with such twaddles is because they reasonate with the masses – aunties and uncles discomforted by the inter-mixing of the genders or ‘western decadence’, as they call it. Better have the moral police instigate and commit violence against the youth, so that their virtuous sons and daughters stay at home ‘after hours” and ‘preserve their innocence’ out of fear of the moral police. It is music to the ears of these traditionalists when politicians blame rapes and molestations on women’s dressing sense, mixing of genders or pub culture – because this is what they have been dying to ‘explain’ to their sons and daughters for years.
       
      You can rest assured these politicians would have far more public support than people who talk about uncomfortable topics like class inequality, poverty of the poor and caste oppression. It is a tragedy of the Indian democratic government system, in a country where the voting majority aren’t enlightened enough for a democratic government.

      • Atheist Indian,

        “It is music to the ears of these traditionalists when politicians blame rapes and molestations on women’s dressing sense, mixing of genders or pub culture – because this is what they have been dying to ‘explain’ to their sons and daughters for years.”

        So you are suggesting here that the ‘masses’ – aunties and uncles of the middle class try to teach their children that rapes should be blamed on women’s dressing sense. So how do you expect their ‘virtuous sons’ to grow up ? Would this be an example (according to you) of instilling their sons with proper values ? Something which you highly objected in my comment to a previous post here.

        As for the example of the rickshaw puller, it is obviously a case of death due to poverty related malnutrition. But as IHM put it, – “even today some women die because they become mothers.”, it is true that death during or soon after childbirth is not restricted to the poor class alone. Even the higher classes have numerous examples of risking the lives of women in order to bear a child.

        • @ Viresh
          You lost the plot. Parents are happy when politicians speak on their behalf because they haven’t been able to instill those ‘values’ themselves. Their kids don’t listen, they’d rather mix with the opposite sex in spite of parents telling them it is ‘shameful’. Hence, their happiness when the moral police and politicians speak and act on their behalf.
           
          You, like a lot of traditional Indians, overestimate the power of ‘parental upbringing’. Most developmental psychologists agree that whatever ‘values’ parents instill as kids is diluted by the time people are in their adolescence, when peer opinions, individual thoughts and media fads take precedence. Hence, the popular wisdom that “a man is judged by the company he keeps” (a western thought, which is closer to reality than the Indian ideation of ‘parental upbringing”)
           
          Contrary to your judgementalist beliefs, most Indian parents do not take their son(s) to local trains and teach them, “Beta, yehi samay he dabochneka”(Outsourced TV show). They *learn* this, once they socialise with their peers who practice street molestation and harass of women. During my college days, I had a number of friends, South Indian Catholic/Hindu ones who believed that a ‘virgin woman is better because she has the decency’. Three years in the company of people like me and they didn’t care whether their significant other was a virgin or not. And I wasn’t even close to the ‘model child’ by Indian cultural standards. Parental values, you say?
           
          My own parents are neck deep in Islamic religious conservatism – except my biological mother, who was a socially liberal Catholic. I am an atheist, a rather strong willed one. The primary reason my father and step-mother have trouble accepting my atheism is because they believe it reflects badly on their parenting skills and that they’ll be condemned by other Muslims for it AND by Allah in the hereafter. If they believed that it was my individual and well thought choice (and they weren’t going to the hellfire for it), acceptance of my lack of faith in *their* religion would have been much easier.

        • @ Viresh
          As for the last paragraph by IHM, I actually resent the implication that the woman died because she is a woman, and not because she is impoverished (which has more to do with her socio-economic class and less to do with her gender). Unlike a lot of people who jump into conclusions after reading the sypnosis (a rather common trait among Indians, mind you, because they are culturally trained in rote memorisation rather than critical thinking/analysis), I took my time reading the news article. It was obvious that the rickshaw puller really loved and cared for his infant daughter, in spite of being from a culture where daughters are aborted or murdered because of their gender.
           
          He took quite some pain to make sure his infant daughter wasn’t abandoned. So, extrapolating on that and the lack of any evidence to the contrary, I am more inclined to think his wife didn’t die from any malicious and deliberate discrimination for being a woman. He really deserves good faith for what he did, even though a lot of people in India are conditioned by the ethos that ‘doing the right’ does not deserve appreciation.

        • Atheist Indian,

          If only some people would bother taking time to read a comment completely (just like taking time to read a link), they would do a bit better to display their bright minds.

          Since it appears that you didn’t bother to read the last part of my comment when you said that “I actually resent the implication that the woman died because she is a woman, and not because she is impoverished”, I’ll just copy and paste what I mentioned in my comment.

          “As for the example of the rickshaw puller, it is obviously a case of death due to poverty related malnutrition.”

          If that is too difficult to understand, it means that YES, I agree with you that the woman died of malnutrition (insufficiency of food) due to poverty (lack of money). I hope you now understand that I was actually agreeing with what you said. It is amazing how you choose to argue with someone who actually agrees with your viewpoint.

          And neither did IHM suggest that the father was responsible for the woman’s death. No one was implicating the death of the lady due to some malicious and deliberate discrimination in the above example. I wonder why some people always suspect conspiracy in everything.

          But now, I’ll put my point against what you said in your reply.

          “which has more to do with her socio-economic class and less to do with her gender”

          It may come as a surprise to you, but still, it is the females who get pregnant and bear a child. So, it is the female gender which has to cope with physiological stresses during and after pregnancy. And it holds true for all females irrespective of their social class. (though usually the higher economic classes have easy access to methods to prevent pregnancy related stresses including proper nutrition.)

          There seems to be no doubt that the rickshaw puller loved and cared for his daughter instead of getting her aborted or abandoning her. Something for which he deserves full appreciation. But if he would have shown a bit of love and care for his wife as well, his daughter would be happily in the arms of her mother now. Of course he didn’t have any malicious intent against his wife. But he could at least carry her on his rickshaw to a health center where she could have been provided supplements (that are provided free of cost by the government) to prevent anemia.

        • “But he could at least carry her on his rickshaw to a health center where she could have been provided supplements (that are provided free of cost by the government) to prevent anemia.”
          Try a social experiment. Dress up and behave like a poor man and visit a government health center in any North Indian mofussil town. See if you actually recieve any good ‘service’ (if we can even call it service, that is). That is, if as a rickshaw-walla, you are supposed to be educated and aware enough to know about anemia PLUS where and how to procude the required supplements, for free of course. This was the crux of my argument – when it comes to poverty, illiteracy and its associated social ills, the middle and upper class Indians have their head too far up their bottoms to understand the complexities and difficulties faced by the poor.
           
          For the poor in India, life isn’t a Bollywood film, my friend. And in case you believe in karma (and don’t admit it), it is a pile of dog shit. It is just another excuse, another excuse to blame the poor for being poor, just so that you can assuage your uncharitable and superficial existence.

        • Atheist Indian,

          This is the most ridiculous comment I have come across on the internet in a long long time.

          “That is, if as a rickshaw-walla, you are supposed to be educated and aware enough to know about anemia”

          Really ? So you think a person goes to see a doctor only when he is ‘educated and aware’ enough to know about what he is suffering from ? Does an ex-IIT or ex-IIM graduate (obviously educated enough) know he is suffering from something called ‘acute mesenteric ischemia’ before going to the doctor for treatment for abdominal pain ?

          For your kind information, a sick person goes to the doctor because of his symptoms and not because he is ‘educated enough’. Or do you mean to say all uneducated/unaware sick people never go to get treated however ill they may be ?

          You don’t need to be ‘educated or aware’ to know about diseases. You just need to be sensible enough to perceive that you are ill.

          Since you appear to be so ignorant, please look up “anemia” on google and get yourself informed that severe anemia (which is invariably expected in a woman during the end of her pregnancy) results in symptoms like severe weakness/fatigue, fainting, difficulty in breathing, paling of the skin, etc. So, I guess now you’ll argue that since a man is uneducated, he should ignore his wife who is lying on the bed and gasping for breath. Any normal person would be sensible enough (whether educated or not) to take his wife to a doctor if she appears ill (irrespective of whether he is ‘aware’ about something called anemia or not).

          And as regarding your views on the pathetic health services, you have confirmed what you mentioned about the middle class in your initial comment. All the ‘knowledge’ you have about government-hospitals (in north India) is through the scandalous news reports of the state of government hospitals. What you obviously do not know is that the ‘primary health centers’, which are the first point of contact to the health services (specially for those below poverty line) are working efficiently all over India. And apart from other basic maternal and health services, they are providing basic diagnostics and drugs absolutely free of cost (including iron and folic acid tablets for anemia). So, watching the sad state of affairs in the over-crowded district hospitals in big cities on the news is not the complete truth for the information of people like you.

          It is absolutely stupid to suggest not even going to get treated just because the government health services are corrupt and/or pathetic. I wonder which dying person (whether rich or poor) would rather die instead of going to a hospital just because the ‘service’ is bad.

          I wish you would stop hallucinating and creating meanings from my comments (like me blaming the poor for being poor) and be a bit more sensible in accepting that there are provisions for the poor as well (instead of making excuses for the poor for being poor).

        • Like the rest of your uncharitable, Hindu middle class compatriots, you simply have no clue what it is to be a poor in India. Poor is something you read about in news, see in TV and films and hear from the people.
           
          I knew a TB patient who was treated symptomatically for cough for months, till he was taken to a DOTS clinic by Volunteer Service Organisation (a UK based NGO that operates worldwide). He suffered from malnutrition and TB, which was so severe, he died within two months after he was finally diagnosed. He lived in a slum in Kolkata and didn’t have any clue about what he possibly suffered from and what (free) treatment options are available. You need to be educated enough to infer illness from symptoms. An illiterate rickshawalla, would simply conclude it was ‘kamzori’ or some common illness. For a lot of them, deaths due to small illness is a way of life.
           
          After that incident, I and a Bengali social worker lady started an organisation Give A Support, to help the sulm dwellers of Kolkata to avail cheap or free treatment options. We also had to spend a considerable amount from our own pockets because a lot of medicines and diagnostics would be ‘unavailable’ at government hospitals. I spent much of my college life in social justice activism and work; so I really know what I am talk about. I wouldn’t even go into my academic credentials, it would be arrogant to do so, uncalled for.
           
          You know Mr. Viresh, using ad-hominem attacks such as ‘stupid’ or ‘you are hallucinating’ shows your lack of civility and manners more than anything else. It is possible to disagree, argue back or even strongly disagree without running into ‘desi macho’ tirades like yours, against the opposition. Learn to control your temper or how to debate like a civilised person. Reading IHMs blog just to seem more ‘open-minded’ and ‘feminist’ around women wouldn’t make you a ‘catch’. And relax, having your points refuted by someone wouldn’t erode your fragile North Indian ‘manhood’. Understanding poverty is not in the realm of your experience, accept it and move on.
           
          @ IHM
          “Didn’t imply the father was responsible.”
          So what has being a woman to do with her death due to childbirth? Which I agree that it is biologically unjust, it is not an Indian thing for women to give birth to babies.

        • Atheist Indian,

          I wasn’t wrong in assessing that you have been hallucinating as you continue to imagine that I am a north Indian and a Hindu. You are absolutely obsessed with religion (evident from most of your comments) and you call yourself an atheist. You have big problems with anything related to India and you call yourself Indian.

          It is but obvious that one sees what one has in his own mind. My commenting on topics here would appear to be a display of pseudo-feminism to portray my desi ‘north Indian manhood’ to someone like you probably because that’s what has been flourishing in your own mind.

          You have serious problems on feminist related issues and blogs but cannot keep yourself from visiting them and picking fights with others who merely put their views on the same. I hope it is not due to some guilt you carry that gets prodded every time you read about a feminist issue.

          As is evident, you are a seriously troubled soul who cannot help but disagree to anything and everything that anyone says. (evident from blocking of disagreeing comments on your own blog) Maybe you have faced some tough times in life, including being discriminated by a few people from north India (maybe why you are so allergic to the entire north India). I can only feel sorry for you. But for your kind information, I’m NOT from north India. And before you label my previous comment as indecent and uncivilized please go through your own comments in the past (which I’m sure would be a futile exercise).

          Unfortunately for you, I don’t owe an apology to you but only to IHM and myself for indulging myself in this.

          IHM,

          My sincere apologies for extending this space for needless arguments which deviated from the real issue. I should have been sensible enough not to indulge in arguments with someone with such a troubled mind. I’ll remember that and refrain from repeating my mistake in the future.

        • I disagree about hospitals being apathetic to the poor. I have myself observed how the staff and doctors can be patient and nice to the poor people who come to visit. There are actually some doctors who volunteer to do this, not because they have to, but because they WANT to. In fact, all the doctors I know spend at least a portion of their time in non-remunerative work. It is wrong to assume that the default state of things in North Indian hospitals is people being nasty to the poor who come for free treatment.

        • @ Fem
          When I ran Give A Support, a number of ill slum dwellers complained that they had to come to us for medicines because government hospitals kept making them run around. For a while, I supposed they were probably making an excuse just to get medicines and supplements the easy way. Till one day, I along with a few of my friends in college theatrics decided to dress and act like poor people and visit government hospitals. It wasn’t a very nice experience – there was way too much red tape for a poor, illiterate person to handle. The doctors were also not clear with the nature of illness or the treatment options available. Barring the interns and residents, the more experienced doctors did come off as condescending and sometimes as outright arrogant, which might make a poor and illiterate person too intimidated to seek treatment unless he is ‘very ill’. The TB patient I referred to above, named Bhaskar had the additional problem of having to drive his rickshaw everyday to earn his livelihood he couldn’t miss a day by running around in hospitals. When I got him to take a break from work and rest at his slum, at our expense, he was already too wasted and in spite of the treatment, died within two months.
           
          A sypnosis of our survey on poverty was published in a 2003 edition of The Telegraph, Kolkata. Unfortunately, the article is no longer available online. A lot of my articles also found their way into manuals by several non-government organisations fighting poverty. In any case, I think this argument has been dragged too long. I wanted to highlight the case with the rickshawalla as a poverty issue rather than a gendered issue; and got baited into an argument by someone with a personal grudge against the moderation policy in my own blog. Lets give it a rest from now.

  6. I agree with Atheist Indian. Few illiterate and uneducated people know something is wrong with them till the late stages. This can also happen with the educated. But my personal experience shows that treatment towards the poor is extremely bad in Govt Hospitals. My maid had to go through a horrendous experience till I intervened. With my intervention, the maid was immediately given medical attention. Why should the poor and illiterate have to depend on the educated to bail them out of every situation? Don’t they deserve the same medical attention as the educated class?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s