Victim of Exploitation - Women Empowerment


Even today Assamese women are still victims of exploitation, violence and all sorts of discrimination.

It is very difficult to see the colour of grass distinctly from the sky. The more one comes closer to the ground everything becomes clear and distinct. So also is the real life situation amongst human beings. To assess the real life of our society one must try to perceive the inner and hidden truth from a close quarter. Problems and challenges are synonymous with human existence whether one is a man or a woman.

But if we look into the problems of women in one glance than we can notice that women of twenty first century are still not free from their .respective problems, we still see how women are victims of exploitation, violence and all forms of discrimination. But to know the intensity of the problems we must look into those problems and the ultimate solution. The present status of women in Assam is satisfactory in terms of those women who are blessed enough to avail each and every opportunity of the modern world and they belong to the middle class or upper middle class. On the other hand there are still a major portion of women who belong to the category called ‘below poverty line.’ And these women are to be seen anywhere in the urban places as well as villages.

Reboti is a helper in a locality and she works hard for her family that consists of her drunkard husband, and four children. Her monthly income is hardly Rs 1,000/- and she is not aware of her rights as woman. She is not literate and she has no savings at all. Like her, Kusum and Minoti are also helper and their earnings with that of their husband fail to satisfy the basic needs. They are in rented house and their future is almost bleak. They are not aware of their rights. They work hard to earn their livelihood, they are not literate enough to perceive the present women’s motto of empowerment.

Reboti, Kusum and Minoti are such women for whom the word empowerment is never a significant word. Their husbands are drunkard and their earnings are insufficient to satisfy their basic needs. They are often the victims of domestic violence. For them words like rights and empowerment are not significant as these words have nothing to do with their basic needs. They still live in the twenty first century as poor families and their lives are being spent “on satisfying their basic needs. They are not aware of today’s women’s movement for empowerment and women’s rights.

If we put a glance to the word called poverty and its real implications on human existence then we can feel that the pains of being poor is hard to explain and feel. While discussing the situation of poverty we see that there are more poor people in villages than in the urban areas. The word poverty is a curse for their very existence. They are born in it and they have to be brought up under it. To define the word poverty is not an easy task. One who experiences poverty alone can feel the pain of being poor. There are still large numbers of people who have not only continued to live in a state of poverty, but they fail to realize that beyond them there is a world where poverty does not exist altogether.

What then is poverty? Dictionaries have defined poverty as a state of not having enough money to take care of the basic needs such as food, clothing and housing. It can be also used to describe the varying status of need, from lack of material comfort to near starvation. The word poverty is synonymous to destitution, indigence, deprivation, penury, social exclusion and want. Thus the word poverty has so many implications that it can endanger the human existence to its utmost. But what is really distressing is that poverty is constantly on the rise in spite of the progress achieved by mankind on various fields. India is amongst those 18 developing countries where a large number of people live below the poverty line. In this context Assam is not different.

The HDI (Human Development Index) measures the overall achievements, in a country in three basic dimensions of human development — longevity and health, education and knowledge and a decent standard of living. The impact of the development strategy of the last two decades on social sector — a sector of high priority — as measured in indicators such as poverty, demographics, education and health indicate significant improvements. But if we analyze its ultimate impacts then we feel that poverty has declined in macro level, but poverty. stricken families are still to be seen in the rural areas as well as in every nook and corner of the urban places of Assam.

In the context of the situation created by poverty, the Government of India has been introducing several schemes for the progress and development of the poor families as well as women. Those are Pradhan Mantri Grarriodaya Yojana (PSVIGY), Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), Rural Housing Schemes and so on.

So far as poor women are concerned, there are several schemes like Vandemataram Scheme, Rastriya Jayanti Suraksha Yojana and so on. All these schemes are for the betterment of the poor women’s health. But it is a matter of concern that a large number of poor women of our state are still totally ignorant of these benefits provided by the Government. Although the government’s integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is supposed to cover children and pregnant mothers, yet there are several rural as well as poor urban women who are unaware of it. Thus women who are not literate and who live below the poverty line are not enjoying their rights in the truest sense of the term. So the education of girls should be made compulsory and free up to elementary level and reproductive health system should be accepted as human rights issues. All policies relating to the development and betterment of women must touch the grass root level where the real scenario is to be found.


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