Fighting it all together
- 13 May 2019
"Life was so much easier when we were kids. Parents took care of everything and we just had fun! We used to run around the village, carefree about responsibilities and most importantly, we had freedom. Life isn’t like that anymore. We have husbands who we’re sadly answerable to and of course, responsibilities of the house. Most of us are older than 50 years, but we still need to work to be able to eat food and live. About a decade ago, we’d stay up till 3 am making beedis. Back then, we’d roll about 1,500 beedis. With age, we’ve become weaker. Today, each of us can manage to make only 500 beedis, for which we get about 100 rupees a day. People assume we spoke beedis because we make them but we actually don’t. In fact, the smell irritates us but we endure it. It is our livelihood, after all. Our husbands are too sick and weak to work. My husband doesn’t work anymore due to age-related illness. He worked extremely hard for 55 years of his life, day in and day out, standing for 12 hours a day, weaving power-loom fabrics. The dust and noise around too affected his health badly. Our problems are endless. The only time we’re cheerful and chirpy is when all of us get together for work here. We talk about everything under the sky and console each other during bad times. We share our happiness and sorrow with each other. We’ve survived 50 years of life like this, and we will survive the rest too."
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