The limited availability of worldly resources has confined human greed. But the unjust scarcity of critical means of sustenance turns the basic need of the marginalised into a vulnerability. Here’s where inequality in society holds an origin. We live in a world of contrast where lavish fortunes adjacent deficiencies but hardly does the marginalised find a helping hand in time. Beyond the inequality in wealth distribution, we as a society, also suffer biases based on gender. The story of Sona Bai underlines both the inequalities and unfolds the narrative of a woman employed in the unorganised sector.
Sona Bai is a resident of Semalpura, a village in Dhar, Bihar. Sixteen years ago, she lost her husband and landed in a terrible economic inadequacy. Since then, she has been the support of the family. Sona Bai narrates, “ I work as a daily wage labourer, and I am the sole bread earner of the family. I look after three children and my father-in-law who are survived by my husband.”
Sona bai exemplifies the strength of women who earn for the sustenance of their families despite the social stereotypes that consider men as the breadwinner. She sheltered her family from insecure conditions after her husband’s demise. Yet the greatest challenge was yet to come in the face of the nationwide lockdown to restrict the spread of COVID-19. Sona Bai was rendered unemployed. Her distresses kept getting graver beyond the lack of income. Besides the need for her family’s daily expenses, her daughter fell sick and the situation turned more pitiful.
“I had to borrow Rs 3000 thousand from Patel (moneylender) for my daughter’s treatment and Rs.2000 from my relatives to provide for our daily expenses. But it diminished the crisis only for a month. I was again standing at the beginning of the loop.”
CASA learned about Sona Bai’s anguish and proposed for immediate assistance. Dry Ration support was provided to her to keep up during these challenging times. The help led astray her concerns regarding the family’s nutrition and primary sustenance. Sona Bai could now find a little comfort but the solution to her larger concerns was on her to lead. After the lockdown was lifted, Sona Bai returned to work in Hoshangabad, determined to fight COVID19 with precaution and awareness. She said, “If I stayed back, then surviving might become difficult for my family. Also, I have to pay back the money I borrowed for my daughter’s treatment. I am grateful to CASA for the help they could provide to uplift me by feeling supported in my struggles.”
Courageous Sonabai is all set to work for her and her family. She is setting inspiration for how to deal with the pandemic until the circumstances return to normal. Serving people by providing whatever we have might not absolutely erase deficiencies, but it can give an assuring relief to the one suffering through these shortcomings. CASA is determined to help the disadvantaged lives escape from crumbling under hostile circumstances. In our dedicated efforts, there has been one persistent motif, that is, to support the marginalised through their strife to sustain.
-Written by Kajol Tanaya, Intern, Ccmmunications