Well I came to this place in the name of work, thinking I could make a difference to the lives of the people who are in need. Women Empowerment is what I am a part of here. Yesterday I head back home in an auto which accidentally touches the back tire guard of a scooty like a feather touching our skin. Our ‘mahila’ riding it says: “Benchaud, dekhke nahi chala sakta saale bhosri ke, iska paisa kaun tera baap dega madarchaud…” and she keeps on going. Finally the auto driver says “Madam galti hogayi I am sorry”, she shouts back “Its Okay”. I have no further words to describe my thoughts on this matter.
Anyways, there has definitely been interesting drawbacks and drawforwards regarding office works. What is more important to mention is about the 20 Women Producers who I work with. They have been trained in camera handling and stuffs to monitor the NGO’s works which have been funded by UNDP via IKEA. One of my friend said before I left Goa, ‘village women will remain village women’. I obviously do not consider my work as a bad one. It lets them earn some money and they like it. But yes, it does feel like burdening them with some sort of totally alien technology which most of them, well I bet almost all of them wouldn’t have done had I offered them some kind of a job related to milking cows or weaving baskets at the same price. Many will be utterly disappointed to hear this from me, but hey it’s a genuine feeling. They are already good at something and have skills which I and many other people do not. Who am I to dictate terms and tell them shooting camera is more cooler and lucratrive than milking cows or weaving baskets. Philosophically it is safe to say that yes there has been progress. Women here now ride bicycles and go to market on their own, start their own business etc. I say its not enough, they are still dumb. The ones who are so called empowered are dependent on their NGOs. It’s less learning and more ‘thopofying’ (forcing) coz the big ones at the top needs ‘RESULTS’ within a ‘time frame’. Now that’s the blunder.