The Bees HiVE – buzzing sweetly
These are the Trainees in the Jam making unit.
The first from left is Indu. Barely educated till second class. She was married for five years ,during which she was abused by her husband. Finally he left her at his parents house and was never seen again. She was brought back by her father who soon after died of Cancer. She was in this depressive stage when she came to the centre to work. Her brother, who was the man of the house, was thoroughly against her taking a job. But she managed to cling to it and today she is the production in charge and for one who is not literate, she manages to keep stock records, independently handle production process. She takes care of her household financially (without her brother’s help) consisting of her two unmarried sisters and her old mother. Being the eldest amongst the girls gives her the responsibility to give a sense of values to all the students and workers and is a good influence at the centre, and home too.
The next in line is Myna, whose husband had died leaving behind two sons and a daughter, she made a living for a while selling country liquor, her sons are wastrels with no thought towards the mother or the house.. She is totally uneducated and it was hard to make a living.. but now she has been working with us for the last two years, she may seem, small and weak but can easily lift a 50 kilo bag of sugar on her shoulder with ease, which would put many a men to shame.
Third from left is Sunita whose mother died when she was young, the father never married again (which was unusual) they are five sisters and only one is married as yet. Young and strong willed she took on the job to help her family. It is hard to get her to work in a team as she’d take offence at the whiff of harshness.. but she is not scared of anything, whether it is dealing with strangers or jumping off the roof, its easy for her.
The last one I call Amma (Mother) because she’d never tell me her name. Her husband is a drunkard and had sold off their land for a pitiful sum.. while the money lasted, they lived as well as they could and after that there was not a morsel in the house to eat and no land either, her elder son is married and can barely support his family.. and the younger one is a carefree lad who’d run off to far off places and rarely be seen, the husband too went off leaving her alone most of the time to fend for herself which she did by selling country made liquor, but now she too makes money with her work in the centre.