How did I survive the two month fieldwork of IRMA? As Prof. Shylendra told us before the trip "Village life is tough but village people are nice." I could not agree more. So here are some people who made my two month stay as comfortable as it could get.
Sakar Singh Chaudhary aka Gotiya dada was our immediate neighbour. A karmyogi who believes that his job in this life is to till his land, grow crops, drink alcohol, occassionally beat his wife and graze cows. For two months, he used to entertain us with his stories in the night and managed to call me "nithun" by the end of my two months stay. The village is made up of his family members and he knows everyone in the village. I only hope he is alive when I visit Toranmal next time.
Manisha and Ravindra Thakur. My hosts and caretakers for the two months. If it was not Manisha tai, my stay not have been as memorable and comfortable as it turned out to be. I owe an enormous sense of debt to this lady who is an embodiment of strength, will power and all the virtues of feminity which we associate our mothers with. From making her husband give up alcohol, earning an income by undertaking various livelihood activities, she was a person who I admire and look up to. I hope that she has been able to undertake all the livelihood activities which she was planning to and undertake them successfully.
These are some of the many who live in our villages, the ones who make news if they join the Maoists or commit suicide. It is a sad commentary on India, that after more than sixty years of Independence, we the educated class have managed to build cities feigning ignorance of the seventy crore people who toil and grow food for us.
Belated Happy Republic Day