The Planning Commission of India wants us to believe that only people who earn up to Rs 32/- a day in urban areas & Rs 26/- in rural areas should be categorised as poor……
How removed is Montek, Manmohan & their ilk from the ground reality ? Aren’t they embarrased to be still continuing sitting in their ivory towers ?
We are finally seeing a sunrise on the farm after nearly three & a half months! Dew drops have replaced rain drops.
Coming back to the issue of wages, for the last year & half we have been paying Rs 150/- daily wages for men & Rs 100/- for women & Rs 350/- for ploughing. Last week i had to call some of my trusted lieutenants from Pishwi village to help me with some work. They asked: Can you raise our wages, since the prices of all essentials have gone up? We agreed on a raise for the year ahead and now for men it is Rs 200/- & for women Rs 150/- per day & for ploughing it is Rs 400/-
I again raised the issue of why should women be paid less & why can’t we have equal wages? Again i felt the question was not understood by the men. The area has out & out patriarchal values and practices (the gender situation is horrible and i even suspect that some of the richer families in the neighbouring Kellad village do foetal tests to get a male child & force abortions if it is a girl). It is still not the right time to force the change.
Take the case of Prakash & Vimal who work with us & stay on the farm. Everyday Vimal is up by 5.30 am, getting the water for drinking, then boiling the water for baths etc & then cooking our lunch, (we don’t have breakfast). She then cleans the house & the cow shed, collects the cow dung, takes the cow for grazing, then works on the farm till we have an early lunch, washes vessels, washes clothes, then again works in the farm till 5 pm. She then boils water for all the baths, makes dinner, again washes vessels. By the time she sleeps it is usually 10.30 pm……… its a bloody 17 hr day for her. Been wondering how to get Prakash to share some of the household chores with her !
Coming back to wages, they also got a monthly increase of Rs1,000/- Yes, its true everyone is feeling the pinch, even us. So i really wonder how the so called renowned economists like Montek Singh Ahluwalia & Manmohan Singh came to the figure of Rs 26/- in rural areas. I’ve seen people who work with me on the farm, when they go to the market in Velhe just buying some claws & the head of the chicken, because they cannot afford to buy proper chicken pieces……
Anyway lets end with a bright note: a rainbow after many years
and a song from Don Edwards