A Day In The Life Of Rural Rajasthani Women: It is always interesting to know about someone’s daily schedule. But have you ever wondered how rural Rajasthani women spend her day? Immediately an image of a ‘Ghunghat‘- clad woman busy in her household work comes to mind. But there is so much more a rural woman does from sunrise to dusk. In today’s times, these rural warriors not only manage their homes but also fight for gender equality. They are even entrepreneurs in their own right.
Some Shining Examples of Rural Rajasthani Women:
Kokila Devi is a rural Adivasi woman who stood against all odds to lead other women out of inequality. She belongs to Kherwada, a district in Udaipur, and works for the ‘Aajeevika’ Bureau. She organizes ‘Ujala Samoohs’ or women meeting groups. Women of the village come together to discuss their rights and access government benefits.
Devi is also a leader in her community when it comes to tackling domestic violence. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has already been an increase in such crimes. Devi also helps people get financial credit, is a bookkeeper, and prepares mid-day meals for a government school.
In an article to idronline.org, she recounts how a day in her life goes by.
First, she wakes up at 6:00 AM and cooks for her children and in-laws. Then around 9:00 AM she visits women from the ‘Ujala Samoohs’ to speak with them about their problems.
Second, around noon she goes to help other Rajasthani women and villagers. She helps those who are facing issues in receiving support from the government.
Finally at 3:00 PM she goes to a woman who is facing domestic violence. Devi patiently listens to her problems. Later in the ‘samooh’ meeting, appropriate action for the woman concerned is taken.
The work undertaken by Kokila Devi gives other Rajasthani women confidence. They can now step outside the confines of their homes and boldly speak about their issues. Kokila Devi was herself a victim of domestic violence, yet her courage is remarkable. Opposition from other men or the village panchayat has not stopped her endeavor of uplifting Rajasthani women.
Anita Kumawat from Sangod, Kota is the first in her family to start a tiffin business. She has since then made great progress. Initially, she faced rejection from her brother but Anita wanted to make a difference. She, therefore, went ahead and started this business with the help of the RAJEEVIKA (Rajasthan Grameen Aajeevika Vikas Parishad).
Her day goes by in preparing meals for the tiffin business and making records in her register. Cooking vegetables, kneading flour, and managing the logistics of her business, Anita has no time for worries. She is happily dealing with profit from her business. She is now free from financial tensions and therefore indulges in decorating her home too. Anita’s brother and sister-in-law also help her in the work. Anita feels proud that she is financially independent and has removed her financial woes.
Kherwara, Udaipur has another shining example of a rural woman’s entrepreneurship skills in Dhanu Devi. With the help of her husband and son, Dhanu decided to change her condition and start a masala business. She has her own masala machine and shop. Her day is thus spent making 10-15Kgs of masala. Her family helps her every step of the way. Apart from sorting the chilies, grinding them, and packaging the final product, Dhanu Devi also does record-keeping for SHG (Self Help Groups).
Her supportive husband made her the secretary of SHG in her village. He also supports the empowerment of rural Rajasthani women. It was on the suggestion of the SHG that Dhanu Devi began this business. She is the epitome of an Indian rural woman as she wants to put her son on his feet by starting this business. Hence, Dhanu Devi is proud of starting this business and helping her family.
Manju Gujjar hails from Sangod, Kota, and is a proud entrepreneur of a photo-framing business. She started out by taking a loan from an SHG. Manju’s family helps her in this business, her husband even going to Kota to fetch the raw materials. He is proud that her wife has set an example by being self-sufficient. Manju talks confidently about her ability to frame any kind of photo. She is eager to learn new techniques in this business.
Her daughter is all praise for her multitasking mother. She feels proud that her mother is able to multi-task well. Manju manages the fields, does the household activities, and runs this business. She is one of the few women in her village who is a businesswoman. Thus, she has paved the way for other women to open their own enterprises. She is truly a rural Rajasthani women!
Anuradha Lashkar went through some tough times before she decided to re-open up her bangle making business. The loan provided by SHG came to their rescue. Now she and her whole family run this business. The business which had once closed down is now thriving and Anuradha dreams of expanding it. She wants to educate her daughters and move into a larger house so that they can study better.
Anuradha’s family work in the cramped space of a single shop where they make and sell bangles throughout the day. They also have only one room to stay in. Nevertheless, her daughters show determination in managing this business further. They want to study hard to make their parents’ dream of a bigger house come true. Even after so many difficulties, Anuradha has a smile on her face. She is a true role model for all rural Rajasthani women.
Watch more such empowering stories on the Youtube page of Blackboard.
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