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When it Hurts to Go Home

2 Jul

When it hurts to go home

07/01/2015

After a lazy day just after 8pm DG realized she needs to pack in some exercise for all the goodies she ate at the afternoon potluck. Before she changed her mind she decided to go as she was in a churidar suit, that has no pockets. Her new phone is the size of a brick she was reluctant to carry it but decided against it. Too many decisions to make before she steps out of the door. She had thought of downing a quick 5K and be back home by 9pm.

A summer evening by the river is a busy scene families, friends, couples, joggers, walkers and few loners like DG mark their time. Just few yards before she hit the mid mark a tiny Asian woman may be in her sixties dressed in all black to the teeth a full sleeves hoody pulled up on her head, track pants with white stripes and a bag on her shoulder caught her sight; she looked as if she was fresh off the boat. On her way back this same woman crossed her may be past few hundred yards. Her walk was painfully slow a slug would beat her. DG checked her phone for the time she wanted to get back in time to call it a night but that voice she told you all about came from nowhere. “Are you okay?” she asked that woman in black. “Yes, I am fine.” “Are you sure?” “Yes, I am.”

Suddenly DG used her DG voice (curt one), “No, you are not. You look sad. What is the matter?” The lady tried to shrug it off,” it’s just a family matter.”

DG: Are you safe to go home?

Lady: I don’t want to go home. I just came back from work.

DG: I can give a you hug, we can sit there on the bench and we can talk, you can tell me what is hurting you.

Lady crumbled in her arms, don’t know when these arms became so strong. As they sat down she started , she is terrified to go home because the minute she steps in her husband will start with his tirade calling her names, yelling at her and cursing her and her dead parents. At 69, she was working 10-14 hour shifts in packaging industry on her feet just to stay out of the home. All her life she worked and worked hard to raise three children and few grand kids now she worked for her sanity. Previous night she said, she stayed by the river until 11:30pm soaking wet in the storm finally making her way to a friend’s home to sleep and leave for work at 5:30 in the morning.

He never laid a finger on her she professed but his words are becoming acerbic by the day more so since she stopped retorting few years ago. His choicest were to blame her for being happy and enjoying outside the house though she spends all her time at the back breaking work and accusing her dead parents. Though she said, her children were not aware of her plight as she doesn’t tell anyone and he is known for being a quite person who doesn’t speak beyond exchange of greetings. Adult children are not blind, sometimes they just choose to turn their faces away as they don’t want to pick sides or parents never taught them how to do the right thing. She wanted to talk but had no one she could speak to in her mother tongue (Thai).

She talked DG listened while her mind raced faster than the setting sun. She told the lady, “it should not hurt to go home.” “You have a right to peace and peace in your own home. There is help available and you are not alone. I SEE YOU and I HEAR YOU.” She made few phone calls took the woman to a women’s shelter instead of Domestic Violence Shelter. There the staff told her about the services and living arrangements if she wanted to stay tonight and gave her some food. She chose to sleep at her friend’s place as she had to go to work early in the morning. Tomorrow the centre will start working with her to find her own place as she wishes. Her voice and demeanor changed after this short visit. She was no longer invisible. Walked her to her friend’s home and came home by 11:00pm. The lady in black kept wondering why she walked past her usual path and how come only DG saw her while hundreds thronged the riverfront. DG sees you because once upon a time she was you.

Home they say is a place made of hearts where souls and soles find peace after long tiring days. While typing this post DG recalled all the times when she and many others did not want to go home but had nowhere else to go either. One time a young woman told her how everyday she spent an hour in the car in the parking lot at work just to get some respite for once she was home there awaited demands and complaints. She had a car so she could say the traffic was bad but all those who don’t have cars or travel by public transport cannot say, they missed the bus or metro every single day. To her weekends were a torture. Yet another said, she feared going home because the atmosphere weighed her down and another said, “I am homeless it is his home I live in.”

Every time there is a mention of home DG is reminded of “Chaipau” of Salaam Bombay and many kids like him who runaway to escape the perils of so called home. Most street children are runaways and they run to escape the abuse within the homes. Habitual runaways, whom police write off are often teens who want to flee the toxic homes. It should not hurt to go home…

A Voice of Her Own

12 Nov

A Voice of Her Own

11/12/2013

It is interesting how  power and control plays in subduing inherent human voice of some humans be it women, children, dalits, people of color, immigrants, disabled to name a few  and then declare them disempowered thus thrives a whole industry to empower them. It was the year the first chair person of NCW (National Commission of Women) Dr.  Mohini Giri retired on her way she made a stop in our city and we organized a small farewell party. Long with academics and activists came our grassroots women. These were the urban lower middle class women we worked with for years and were now able to get them out of homes to attend events, they came with their heads covered but no longer wore “ghunghto” (veil). It took us weeks to help prepare Kanwar speak two sentences to Ms Giri that she and her friends are very sad that she is retiring they are very thankful for she did great work for women and especially  of our state. Kunwar had been nervous all day she was mocked by family and friends that now she has become “neto” (politician) and will be speaking to “baddo log” (powerful people). She wore her best sari, finished all her chores, fed her kids and left early with us to attend the event that didn’t start until few more hours she sat repeating her lines and sweating profusely out of fear of public speaking.

Finally the chief guest arrived and formalities were done then came the moment we had been waiting for introducing our grassroots workers and for Kanwar to say her lines. As Kanwar uttered “didi hum bahut dukhi hain…” (sister, we are very sad…) Ms Giri caught her hands and said “hum tumhara dukh samajhate hain bahan…” (I understand your pain, sister…” and went past her. Kanwar was in tears she had practiced her lines so much and this was her chance that just whisked past her. DG and her colleague stood there looking at their labor of love rolling in tears; she was young so was pretty upset  and chose to step out of the group picture. She kept wondering, “how do you know her pain, you didn’t even let her complete the sentence. Now she has a greater pain that is all her hard work went unnoticed and her folks will mock her.”

Few years later when DG went to des for recovery she was signing up at the medical college for intensive physio therapy. Then she walked with quad cane her steps were very wobbly; the crowds were maddening people falling over each other. She was a pretty attraction, a woman dressed as a Charlie Chaplin walking with a quad cane and spouting English. After waiting in women’s line for an hour she was behind a woman who was asked her name and age, she was about to open her mouth jumped in a man from nowhere over DG’s shoulder and shouted her name and age. DG turned back stalled the process and asked him if the woman was deaf and mute. He said she was his wife so he was giving her personal information. DG’s other question was this is an information a four year old can give why did he feel the need to do so over DG’s shoulder. He said, he was trying to be helpful as she is in pain (the woman had been standing in the line for more than an hour with not much problem). DG wouldn’t let it go, she not only told him off but also said, “Bhale manus, apaki patani ghar ka sara kaam karti hai, do bacche palti hai abhi tak to ghar, bacche aur aap ko surakshit rakha hai isne to kya yah apana dhyan nahin rakh sakti ya apana naam nahin kah sakti. (gentleman, your wife attends all domestic chores, raises two kids and has kept, home, kids and you safe so why do you think she can’t take care of herself or tell her name?”) The man had sheepish look on his face and the woman had a smile of gratitude while she finished her turn at the counter she stealthy pressed DG’s hand on the quad cane.

In experiencing your person and claiming your space in any context to be able to tell what happened to you or what was done to you is a very pertinent. In the name of love and protection the first thing that is taken away is your voice and then your choice. It is like someone takes away the hockey stick from a child and then declares to public the child does not know how to play hockey. In everyday life a large number of women are silenced by taking away any chances of voicing their concerns in the name of love, safety, honor shame etc. and a proclamation is made for whole gender, that it does not know what they want so someone else has to be benevolent enough to speak for them and empower them. Claim your voice and speak for yourself before you speak for another human. Challenge patriarchy every day and everywhere.


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This the Season of Apologies…

7 Nov

Tis the Season of Apologies…

11/07/2013

We all recall the apologies we made that we didn’t want to and the apologies we await that our offenders didn’t want to give. This is a season of famous apologies first came Mr. N Peethambara Kurup’s sincere apology on national TV and by a phone call to the lady who then was chided by her father to put an end to this man’s misery by withdrawing the case against him. While DG was wondering about this apology business along came apologies into hundred times from Goa minister for comparing Nigerians to cancer.

That reminded DG of her tween years when she and bro fought they put dogs and cats to shame. It happens in all home now she knows then she was told she was the only bad apple in the whole world. Coming back to apologies, so you hit your baby brother because he was being a pest when you wanted to read comics with your girl friend and he wanted to stick his grade two picture book between you two and talk about the roger rabbit. Now he is crying his lungs out so mother comes running and drags him along to soothe him, once crying stops he gives you two punches and now you are mad running after him for his dear life. It is then dad steps in and slaps you now you have one extra punch from brother and one from dad. So after lots of he said she said dad yells, “both of you just shut up.” All other families in the world are in peace except ours and you are the source of all trouble now here is your punishment write hundred times, “I am sorry. I will not hit my brother and I will call  him Bhai ji.” Why should I call him Bhai ji, he is younger. Two tight slaps more now the balance is one punch from brother and one slap from dad plus the two new ones plus the writing exercise. But nobody will listen to you, you are the wronged party and you are being forced to apologies rather apologies are extracted from you. Your tears won’t leave your eyes even if you drank a gallon of water they just ditched you. You keep wondering how this six year boy manages tears so readily. After lots of reasoning, stomping and crying all you can manage is for dad to ask bother to do the same written apology, “I am sorry. I will not hit my sister and I will call her didi ji.” But you see that it doesn’t make it write this written exercise is evened out not those four slaps.

Parents want peace they are not interested in justice. As kids come with no manuals so parents apply the hit and trial method. First they begin by assuming the older one is trouble so needs to be put to test after a little while they realize their little angel is no lesser beast so they go by who initiated the fight holds more responsibility. Then they realise the fight still didn’t end but just got carried forward to another day so now their final weapon is to punish both irrespective of who was at the fault. Moral of the story is those hundred apologies and four slaps plus nth slaps the issue never got resolved now we don’t fight like Tom and Jerry but the fight still continues to date.

Readers might be wondering about the “I am sorry” part oh, that was a means of buying peace and getting out of grounding. Of course it was sincere didn’t I tell you we wrote it hundred times if we weren’t sincere then why would we waste our time writing that. Oh, you are right that was the only way to get dad off our backs and get back to each others. So much for sincerity…

While DG was mulling over the sincerity of her apologies there came mother of all apologies, yes, Rob Ford apologized again. Since yesterday when Ms D came back after visiting her mom across the border we have been laughing our hearts out this guy is desi, first deny then apologize but never quit the office.

Then there was Japanese apology for the comfort women and a nation in shame for Holocaust then there was apartheid and so on… Did any apology change anything? At least someone had the courage to say sorry but in desi land we say sorry to buy peace and repeat…

Cost and Effect Analysis of Last/Past Relationship

6 Nov

Cost and Effect Analysis of Last/Past Relationship:

11/06/2013

In recovery journey one has to do lots of house cleaning before that one has to take inventory of the emotional stuff so that you don’t repeat the pattern. When one embarks on a new relationship it is suggested they take such an exercise where they ask themselves and their partner early on so that they know if it is worth going forward or if it is just repetition of past patterns.

This a worksheet from a course work that DG just found in her old assignments zip drive. It will make an interesting read she thought.

How is this relationship different from last/past relationship?

  • Not mooching
  • Not sexual
  • Equality based
  • Inexpensive fun/ joy
  • Enjoying nature
  • Spiritual- discussing God
  • Discussing tentative issues- love, finances, career goals, expectations, children, other significant relationships etc.

 

Why were these things missing from past relationships? If not totally missing then why were they not as important as they are today?

 

Cost and Effect Analysis of Last/Past Relationship:

 

Expectations

Received

Net Result

comfort + initial comfort Discomfort- physical, emotional, financial
 love + initial love Just memories
 appreciation + initial appreciation Guilt generation
 long term commitment + initial need gratification- physical, emotional Short term relationship- long term prescription medication
Security – nil Doubtful of future relationships, comfort eating= weight gain
Stability – nil, they were looking for anchor in me Still looking for it  
  – that was the best they could do but was not enough for me Quest to find best matched partner – if one really exists  
       
       
       

You can add more of your expectations in the empty rows.

Present Situation:

Are you looking for a carbon copy of self in partner?  Not possible there does not exist another you.

What are your immediate and long term goals? Emotional, Physical- health, financial, family etc.

What issues are negotiable and what are not? Place of residence, shared activities- volunteering, recreation, child rearing, spiritual, finances, chores, social life etc

What will not be tolerated under any circumstances? Infidelity, emotional unavailability, financial blunders and secrets, abuse of any kind inclusive of spiritual, values…

 

You are complete in yourself, you do not need any one to make you complete. All you need is someone deserving to share your achievements with. You know that just believe in yourself.

 

Word your needs precisely and work towards them no one can achieve abstract needs example- You want peace, but what action or activity will or can bring you peace?

Hope this helps, make suitable suggestions and re send it to your partner for further mind work.

 

What has class got to do with Domestic Violence

9 Apr

What has class got to do with Domestic Violence

04/09/2012

 

This question was thrown at DG once again by some one rolling in their middle class privilege and DG is tired of typing same answers over and over again. She is settling this issue for once and all. Long time back @IHM posed a question “Is it possible to solve a problem without treating the cause?” Many of us made our views known. As usual DG posted mile long comments in response to some reader of her blog. DG had to and fro commenting marathon with one comment writer in particular and she asked What has class got to do with it. You can check all  the comments between her and DG here. DG is easier to locate just look for bright gazania as her gravatar in front of the comment.

 

@Desi Girl and IHM :

“Is it not a time we start asking men to share their of childcare and house keeping. How long are we women planning to ride on the backs of less previleged women”

You have a point there regarding the maid. But, I was being sarcastic. Its highly impossible to get a free of cost and hassle free maid! Maybe robots might serve that purpose in future, with just the initial buying and maintenance cost. :)

So your solution is men sitting at home and taking care of the kids! For the life of me , I don’t know how a set of parents, however helping hubby would be, can raise a child and work at the same time without outside help. Creche and nursery you mean? Honestly, I don’t know a solution to this.

Read ur post on confused girls. I am sure every guy too has a different story to tell, nobody ever has a perfect childhood or teenage. The parents mentality then was, especially a father’s, that the son has to at some point earn a living for his new family. So arm him with everything they can. Daughters now are given oppurtunity to basic education, but how many will send their girls to far away places for further education or employment, even if they can afford it? The mentality has to change, like someone said, even if the girl is raped or not a virgin, she should be treated as a normal person.

In peace too :)
Jyothi.

 

Following is the comment she made in response to this reader’s 3rd and last comment that liberally used emoticons to make light of a very serious issue. Wish they had rules on how to use smileys and lol.

 

Jyothi,

I am sorry doing this on another person’s blog. I guess you need to do some homework before you make flat statements. I guess we all are guilty of that. At times we think being Indian we qualify to make statements about India that are not even factual or at other times we assume we are expected to know every thing Indian and about India just because we are Indians. So is the case of women and their problems. We are women so we ought to know every thing under the sun that ails women. But is more than what is visible to eye.

Jyothi: why the violence occurs?

DG: Because a person or a group of people assume they have a legitimate right or are entitled to and have power supported by law or culture to control the actions of another person or group. Be it upper castes perpetrating violence against Dalits on the pretext of fetching water from the community well or men beating their spouses for they did not do exactly what they wanted them to. Think would a man beat his subordinate at work because he did not meet the project deadline or follow the instruction.

A man beats his spouse because he knows he can get away with it without any penalties rather the system/culture will support him. Remember, THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR VIOLENCE.

A man/men make cat call at women or rape women because
1). they think women are like objects and they can do what ever they want,
2). know they can get away with it because culture will stigmatize the woman if she reports it and
3). the law will support him as it will ask what was woman doing at that hour of time, has she slept with other men in the past or what ever else…

Now about intimate violence against women, it is also called domestic violence because it occurs within the confines of homes, an assumed to be a safe space. Any violence is a learned behavior all genders are capable of committing it. More men abuse other men (refer general crime stats in any country) and also a greater number of women (through intimate partner violence) and some women also abuse both men (fewer in number than men abusing women) and other women (refer desi households).

Jyothi: Nothing short of a revolution will change the male mentality!

DG: Totally agree with you. Nanak, Jesus, Gandhi, Buddha all failed to generate compassion in the heart of patriarchal system for women and under privileged people only you dreaming of a revolution will definitely do it (pun intended and no apologies)

REVOLUTION BEGINS WITH ME. Start confronting your own biases. I have problems with obesity (I constantly struggle with weight but at times I still feel fat people are slaves to their emotions so they over eat or they are just lazy where as the fact his some people have genetic disposition for fat or are dealing with some health issue that makes them fat). Challenge the male preferential treatment and rituals in your family and circle of friends. If a man cracks a mother-in-law or bad woman joke snub him at the same time. Initiate a discussion what prompted him to say such a bad joke. Confront anyone who uses MF, SF or what ever abusive and cuss words they are using? Ask the why not BF, FF??

Jyothi: Middle class privilege? Where does class play a role here? The situation of women is the same in every strata of society.

DG: This is your middle class privilege speaking. How can you and the domestic help you employ have same issues. Some of your issues could be similar but never same. Like wise a manager and peon cannot have same issues but many similar issues like being late to work. The boss was late due to high traffic or his car broke where is a peon is late because the bus was too full and he/she could not board it or the bus just did not show up. But people are worried about the education of their kids.

You wake up every morning. Jump in the bath for a quick shower the running water in the tap refreshes you. You dry your hair with a hair dryer because you have electricity if there is a power outage then you have a inverter or generator. You dress up in a crisp saree, salwar kameez or business suit that may be you did not iron your self. You have breakfast at the table that is made on LPG stove. Then you pick car or scooter keys and zoom out of the door.

During all this you also got your kids dressed for school packed their lunches and shoved them into school bus or drove them to school. And your male spouse just read the newspaper or may be helped you but not as much you wanted. Or he still has a hangover from last night and when on high he said some thing mean to you or even hit you.

Now about the domestic help you employ or the female construction worker who constructed the building where you sat and typed this comment.

She wakes up before the sun rises because she has to find some privacy some where on the railway track to relieve herself. Then to clean herself and have some drinking water for the family she has to wait in line at the community tap or walk few miles to fetch some water on her head. The she has to feed herself and her kids she either depends on kerosene stove or fuel wood that she has to find in the concrete jungle. It will definitely take more time for her to prepare a meal than it took you. You may say you have seen many slums have LPG stoves, refrigerators and TVs. So?? Would you like to live there?? :) Back to the chronology of events if she is domestic help she has to reach work before memsahiba leaves. If she is a construction worker then she has to be even earlier because the contractor may not give her a day labor or someone who just came from village will grab her job. She still has work to do at home, clean and get her kids ready to go to school (if they even go)If they are very young a construction worker will put them in the on site crèche (not all places have crèches)that we middle class people operate for their benefit and pat our backs. If she is a domestic help her employer will not like her to bring her kids to work so who will mind them may be her minor daughter who is little older than her siblings. She’ll do the chores and may be go to the anaganwadi or even the afternoon school. where she’ll fall asleep because she is tired and has had not enough sleep and the teacher will say she is good for nothing. She’ll flunk and the school will chuck her out. Here goes her chances of bright future an education will bring now she is all good to fill her mother’s shoes as a domestic help when she retires. Think, will this ever happen to your daughter? will you let this happen to her?? :)

Also, remember her husband is drunk, shares no chores or parenting responsibilities rather shouts, yells and hits her. Here you and she are on the same page. So what has class to do with it??

If she were from your class she won’t be dealing with all the things I enumerated above and also the spousal abuse.

Yes, children are affected in both the classes because men are not sharing their share of parenting duties and women are tired and they can do only as much.

I could not find anything Indian context appropriate other than this.

Jyothi: Where I live, and I am sure in India too, most companies don’t work in shifts. Not all can work at Call Centers! Children will definitely be affected either way!

DG: Yes, you are right. No shift work for most middle class Indians. There were no childcare options and maternity leave privileges in India but women raised voice and got it implemented. Start talking to your friends facing similar situation. Unite talk to your employers. Under the UN and ILO Convention they are bound by law if they are ISO 500 companies. Even the smaller ones with 25 or more employer have to follow some laws. But it is too much work besides coming to 9 to 5 job and taking care of house hold so you or I will not do it. We’ll wait for women laborer’s to go on strike and fight for our rights (that is thehistory of International Women’s Day).

Jyothi: I don’t think any woman (or man), educated or not educated, will ever look down upon a rape victim. But moral less girls (or guys for that matter), it’s a different thing all together.

DG: That is why educated people have been debating on internet in English how characterless was Nirupama for getting pregnant.

http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/no-second-chances-for-an-indian-daughter/

Jyothi: I would love the revolution to empower woman (or man) to be able to make their own choices, but not to adopt western animal culture.

DG: The internet you used to present your views here came from west. The printing press that contributed to India’s independence was a product of west. So what is this western animal culture?? West gave us the idea about maternity leaves for working women, women representation in the leadership positions and education on and on… So what is this animal culture?? :) Rapes, as if they never happened in India before MTV. Yeh, sure we forced the rapist to marry the raped and declared it Rakshesa Vivah. Great. (I will not elaborate on this please do a google search.) What happened during the 1947 roits, Godra roits were they west influenced?? What happened to all those women?? So many of them committed suicides because of stigma and they way there are taught a once raped a woman life is not worth living.

Jyothi: But moral less girls (or guys for that matter), it’s a different thing all together.

DG: What is moral?? What was moral 60 years ago is all upside down today. A Hindu man deserting his wife to beget a son in order to secure a place in heaven is moral. Now after 1956 Marriage Act his place in heaven has been curtailed as he can’t dump her on this pretext. Teens having sex is a moral issue but child marriage and teen wives having kids is ok?? Is the bond of marriage cure and cover all?? Bigamy is a problem but man visiting sex workers or raping a domestic help is ok because it is not visible to all. What is hidden is not a problem until it is exposed. Lets shove the dirt under the carpet.

So morally a prostitute cannot be raped because that is her work. But doesn’t she have a right to say NO?

Jyothi: I don’t agree with the fact that woman should work out off home to be part of this revolution for woman’s empowerment.

DG: That is the whole point of this exercise. Women’s domestic work should be respected. It should be a woman’s choice if she wants to stay at home and raise kids or should go to work outside the home. If a woman is poor she has to work to feed her kids then it is not a choice it is poverty directing her actions. You and I can have that privilege but not a very large majority of Indian women. UmaS had a choice how many women will have that option??

The whole idea is to treat women as Humans and supporting them in their parenting roles. Women do not get pregnant out of vacuum. Men are responsible for making babies so they should be shouldering the parenting duties. They don’t because we haven’t made that demand strongly rather we have employed other less privileged women to do father or husband’s job minus coitus.

I guess this is done here if you have any questions please leave a comment at:

https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/

IHM,
Apologies for this on going discourse with one person, now on I am taking this discussion to my blog.

Peace,

DG

 

Holy Holy it took DG 45 minutes just to cut past and insert links in this post. Good old days, when she had the patience to type mile long responses.

Any reader who has any question about dealing with in-laws please read the comments all your doubts and queries are addressed there. If you still have personal questions or need specific help you can contact her on gmail (to find the email read the comments carefully she has disclosed her contact number of times in comments to different posts).

 

 

 

 

Our Story: Flower’s Aren’t Enough

11 Jan

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Hope readers are doing good and are steady on their new year resolutions. People make it up to 21 Jan, 2011 then you are all set to win it. It takes three weeks/twenty one days to build a habit and 40 days to cement it. Good Luck.

Yes, Desi Girl did write a new year wish for GGTS but thought following is more important for now.

When a woman reports abuse people rush to judge to their best abilities. Some are genuinely interested to help her others are also genuinely interested to help the relationship (even if she wants it or not that is another story).

  •  how is it possible, she is lying, she is so vocal and smart how could it happen to her;

  • she brought it on herself, he is a reasonable guy;

  • we need to know his side of story too;

  • if she is so troubled in that marriage why doesn’t she leave, she is educated, has a job and no children.

The list is unending, every one has an opinion just because it is a woman’s life. It is a woman’s life so everyone is entitled to an opinion whether they know her or not is impertinent. No matter how much information we put out about the nature of abuse and how it works some people will keep asking the same questions and judging the abused. Last year DG had the opportunity to meet Naomi Ackerman. She performed her famous monologue “Flowers Aren’t Enough.” This monologue was also staged in India few years back. It is a powerful presentation. DG highly recommends readers to share it with friends and families.

Peace,

Desi Girl

 

Flowers Aren\’t Enough 1 of 3

Flowers Aren\’t Enough 2 of 3

Flowers Aren\’t Enough 3 of 3

How Violence Against Women is Your Problem

2 Nov

Dear Readers,

Greetings!

Desi Girl finally managed to change the theme of GGTS. It was made possible by the remote instructions of Iniyaal. Though this very talented blogger gave instructions in May 2010 but it took very tech challenged DG just 5 months to implement them. Thanks dear for bearing with lazy DG. How lazy you can read ahead and make out.

The month of October is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness month is known to masses Desi Girl congratulates Kalpana for organizing “mammo party.” But few know that October is also designated as Domestic Violence Awareness month. Survivors, survivor advocates and communities join hands with government agencies to raise awareness and initiate a dialogue on why violence against women is a community issue and how it adversely impacts the communities.

DG attended Take Back the Night 2010. She tried her best to convince desi women and men to attend the event but like always she failed miserably. She may be disappointed but not hopeless cause some where else desi women are making a difference. Before the march she and her friends viewed the screening of the documentary Sin by Silence. The documentary is very close to heart because DG could have been one of those women had Sasha not made her swear on her life, she’ll walk away and not hit back or kill. There was no dearth of occasions, provocations and reasons but she always remembered what Sasha said: Promise me DG not to do the things… walk away from the troubles if you can…

Ample of data is available on how many women are killed by their partners and how many suffer everyday various other forms of violence in their homes, a place that is assumed to be safe and nurturing. Domestic Violence is gender neutral term but the fact is more women are abused by men than the other way round. And those who are going to be up in arms after reading this please get your facts right: more men are killed and abused by other men than women be it passion crimes, terrorism, civil wars or private land feuds but you don’t go yelling around men are being abused by men. Violence in any form by any one is everybody’s issue. Here are few reasons to say how Violence Against Women is not just women’s issue but every body’s issue:

1. If a woman is unable to go out to work a night shift because the streets are unsafe and she fears she’ll be sexually assaulted as she is a woman, chances are her kids will go to bed hungry. Even if they don’t go to bed hungry may be they’ll miss on something essential like text books, shoes etc. So VAW is a community issue.

2. If a woman misses a day of work because she was beaten by her partner previous night, her performance at work will be poor. Chances are either she’ll loose the job or you’ll receive poor service. So VAW is your issue too.

3. If a woman is faced with domestic violence research shows her children are assaulted too. They grow up with anger issues and residual violence. Chances are they’ll abuse their partners too and it could be your loved one. So VAW is definitely your issue.

4. If a woman faces physical violence (emotional and psychological violence always accompanies the physical violence) she’ll use tax payer’s money to seek treatment; tax payer will also pay for the forensic evidence and prosecution. So VAW is a tax payer’s issue.

5. If a woman is assaulted her family suffers with her, be it her children, parents, siblings or her friends.. If your sister is assaulted on the street or in the home it impacts you. If your partner’s sister is assaulted on the street or at home it still impacts you because your partner is suffering and is not able to give her 100% to your relationship and her children. So VAW is every body’s issue

6. If a woman is assaulted and the assailant isn’t caught then the streets your sister’s, daughters, mothers, girl friends and wives walk remain unsafe. Thus requiring the police forces to be on a hunt. When there are so many major worries lurking around like terrorism, illegal immigration and drug trafficking who wants to save the women? Hence the streets remain unsafe and you worry about your beloved women folk. So it is your issue too.

If you missed the Take Back the Night in your area there are still many ways you can make a difference. Information is power, empower your self to be of help to a survivor. Come November-December and the world will observe 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. In Des, Jagori in New Delhi will hold Domestic Violence awareness activities, Action Aid, India has its own events. Okay where ever there is UNIFEM there are going to be events.

Be part of the solution or else you are part of the problem.

This is Desi Girl’s first ever slide show with music without anyone’s help. Okay thanks to google. Send her some love. She wanted to use some desi women’s songs especially our Isliye Raah Sangharsh ki Chunni  or Tod tod ke bandhano ko dekho behane aati hein or else Ye waqt ki awaaz hai mil ke chalo but she could not find good audios so she had to use Man ke Manjeer. Watch The Making of Man ke Manjeere is based on a real life incident.

If you know someone is being abused this is how you can help.

From the wet market

Mostly vegetarian meals from Asia

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