An ordinary woman shakes our collective conscience

Sometimes we happen to experience amazing things in simple events, provided we ponder over them. We achieve professional degrees, seek trainings and do lot of preparations to make our plans and ambitions reach the goal and achieve success. In the discipline of media, to communicate the audiences maximum and composite information in the minimum time and space we exercise techniques, enjoy and claim status of professionalism in the field. But sometimes naive people teach us lessons of life out of their ground experiences, the lessons of humanity and that of professionalism.

This is a real event-story of a “ Gadde Hanzuen”( Fisher-Woman),  whose interview went viral on social media in the backdrop of recent elections. A mere 1:55 minute duration interview is worth much. With due regards for the interviewers, for me it has two dimensions, first, the communication stuff with regard to compositeness versus time and second, the ‘postmortem’ of the socio-political system.

This 1:55 minute duration interview of a naive woman speaks volumes about our whole social fabric, the words used by this poor woman iconizes the tale and sufferings of a poor person. Her actions, gestures and laughter tell about the character of  a common person.

As an example, embroidery worked  ‘Jalakdooz -pheran’, a traditional Kashmiri gown, clad by this middle aged mother is all courageous to reply the questions. The answers are worth analysis from a social worker to a politician. She puts a question mark in front of former and future  politicians about any benefits given to common people. She proudly says about her own routine, fish selling, and thus earning livelihood.

In the next breath she tells, ok, if we come with an “application” you will give a recommendation for my children for some books  ….”che laykhak sir’as“(you will mark onto Sir which could be a PA); he will refer the case to Headmaster. Headmaster will disappoint us by asking to go away… What will we do then?”

The narration tells us that poor mother had not had a big deal to ask for, but needed some text books for her daughter’s children, for  which perhaps she had suffered setbacks!

She reveals that they are five family members and earn livelihood out of selling fish but at times they suffer losses as well, family comprises three children of daughter, the daughter and the lady herself, she narrates.

Next, she talks about market condition, and tells that what to buy out of the little earning, salt! tea! or the edible oil? The prices are touching skies… now and a specific brand of oil costs rupees 2200 per canister.

This woman can’t be an exception. There must be many such cases around us. With their failing health such persons are forced by their  conditions to work and make the ends meet. Being  head of the family  has to care for her daughter and the grandchildren.

She says “Had  not I been desperate, I was not in a condition to come and sit here to sell fish. My blood pressure, from normal  suddenly rises during nights and the treatment costs two to three thousand the next morning…”

These people are brave hearts, they have guts to survive amid these tough conditions. Her whole home is structured  on a single kitchen. She says she had applied in Fisheries Department (may be for  development of  some rehabilitation structure under some scheme ) but yet nothing is yet done.

This woman also speaks about our civil society, how she was disappointed from some office. We also need to heed that remark and ask those in the philanthropic and charity sector to improve and become more efficient.

Next she touches social welfare department and in her naive way she says ” Tatte chhuna su Sahab, su chhu divan lekhith Miskeen Bagh peth, Miskeen Bagh chi thawaan tatee…   (and with a laughter) Mei doup Chhunus balai” (That Sahab there, he marks the (application) and asks to go to Miskeen Bagh, at Miskeen Bagh files eat dust….and (laughing)  I left the case half way).

In less than two minutes the woman narrates a tale of sufferings, and this depicts the ground reality of our system of deliverance as a whole.

Stakeholders from govt. to welfare organization must do their best in bringing the system back on track. However, this grandmother should serve as a severe reminder for introspection for all concerned.