Is India going from a male-dominated society to a female-dominated one?
Let me tell you based on my real experience today.
I work as RBSK doctor in Thirumanur block. So my job nature is to visit 105 schools and 122 anganwadi centres and screen children for diseases.
Today I visited a village named Melaramanallur a riverine island in the river Kollidam about 50 km from Thanjavur.
Though I planned for regular screening I was asked by deputy director to conduct measles and rubella vaccination program for the left out children in the past two days.
Since I was "asked" to conduct vaccination by my "boss" @ 11.30 am I arranged for vaccination by diverting my vehicle to the nearby PHC and got the vaccine vials, diluents and ice pack along with AEFI kits.
Since the vaccination is only for the absentees I vaccinated 6 children (4 boys and 2 girls) from class 6 to 9. And I am bound to keep them under my observation for the next 2 hours.
So what would you do inside a remote village without internet ? I started speaking to those six children in a jovial manner and asked them some random things about cricket and mega serials they watch and slowly they opened about their life style in that village. Here are my few observations
- Girls are preferred to work after 10th std in tirupur textile industry and men were only preferred to study in nearby higher secondary school.
- Girls are required to wake up early to do all the household jobs while boys are not required to do such things.
- Among them 3 children (2 suicides) lost their fathers. And these fathers have more daughters than sons.
- Women in that village were married in their late teens or early twenties and don't have any choice over when to have children , how much spacing can be done between pregnancy and more importantly when to have sterilization. All these were decide by their husbands and in laws.
- If you were not able to give birth to a male baby they are considered unlucky and made to keep on trying till they achieve. Till then they don't have any respect in their family.
- The children if found any illness the care and response depends upon their sex and not the seriousness of the illness.
I would now suggest the reader to draw their own conclusion and I am speaking about rural India based on my 2 years experience.