The day before evening I responded to this tweet:
To bring out more brave girls like these we need more women volunteers in gurgaon urgently. Call 9910589940 & join. Photo here
And so we landed in AAP Gurgaon office – a house converted into an office. There were other volunteers. One big reason to volunteer was to meet other volunteers. I wanted to know what motivated these women and men to step out of their homes, maybe put their careers and other activities on hold and work for a cause that the entire Indian media seems to either ignore or seems to find disappointing.
Met Chhaya (above) and her husband Vikas, who had been following the movement since the early days and this October decided to take a break from their careers and move from Philippines to Gurgaon with their two year old baby.
Vikas goes back to work after the elections this May.
As they demanded to be photographed I asked them if they went to school, most of them (almost all) said they didn’t.
They wanted my AAP Badge.
“You can make a badge like this. Do you like to draw?”
“But that would be a paper badge!”
“I have only one badge and there are so many of you! Let me ask a question, whoever answers gets the badge, okay?”
Did they know humans had gone to the moon? Yes they did. Did they know of an Indian who had gone to the moon?
A shy voice, “kalapanachawala” She got the badge.
* * *
For three out of four of us, this was the first time we had been to a village and interacted with village women in their homes.
Was I really surprised by the warmth? Charpoys were brought out, hot tea and snacks were offered, they even insisted we have lunch. One young mother handed me her adorable baby girl to hold 🙂
I was also amazed because we had more in common than not.
Didn’t take any photographs of the women we met, I wasn’t sure how they would feel, maybe the next time I will ask.
Suchita had taken a half day off on the first day and then five more days, and is now willing to stay in a Mewat village to be able to give more time 🙂 She had also joined the protests at Indian Gate last year and feels change is not possible unless we step out and make it happen. She is also a professional Kathak dancer and choreographer.
Sanjana is from Mumbai but is working in Delhi, and she says as a policy researcher, she found AAP’s focus on decentralization the most effective for development. Last evening she dropped me home and I found a packet of colourful Holi pichkaries on the seat, she said it was for the bunch of kids she meets every day at the traffic signal.
She also plays with the homeless dogs in her neighbourhood.
Reached home too late these last two days to find the time to share the experience, so sharing this (possibly full of errors!) quick post while some golden, and some green fields of Haryana pass us by.
Met many others too, and will share more about others who share the same hope – that if we all did our bit, maybe we can together, slowly (or not so slowly) change the way politics, elections and governance is seen in India.
Anarchy in the Indian Context – Ritu Lalit
Please don’t make it a circus – Ritu Lalit