GUWAHATI, May 15 � By coming together, women working as daily wage labourers have started extending emotional and financial support to each other and have also begun participating in awareness meetings related to their rights and issues. Under the initiative of the Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection, around 30 women daily wage earners of Silpukhuri area have formed a group that meets every month to discuss their problems.
The coordinator of the Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection, Sattar Choudhury informed that these women labourers have evinced keen interest in attending these monthly meetings. �These meetings, being held every month, have emerged as a platform for the women labourers to discuss their problems. We also make them aware about the various welfare and labour schemes of the government,� said Choudhury observing that these labourers, whose life is nothing less than a tragic existence are one of the most vulnerable sections of the society.
It needs to be mentioned here that by studying the way of living of these women labourers at Silpukhuri and those visible in the other labour markets, the Society has found that the literacy level is almost nil among these women. Illiteracy is one of the major hindrances in the path towards realizing their rights. �Women labourers are easily subjected to exploitation because they are illiterate. We are planning to take up this issue and make them literate,� said Choudhury adding that apart from illiteracy, the other problems of women labourers include lack of access to health care and zero savings.
The women labourers of Silpukhuri will soon have their savings account as the Society is emphasizing its importance among them. For most of the women, an emergency situation in life comes as a major tragedy because they do not have savings.
However, after forming the group, they have realized that their joint contribution, however small that might be, can make a difference if one among them is in an emergency situation. They came together when one of them lost her husband in an accident. They also lend a compassionate ear to those who have been abused by their husbands or have been victims of harassment. Camaraderie has not only boosted their confidence level but also helped these women face the challenges of life with courage.