40 year old Kaushalya has lived in the Jain Mandir cluster, Delhi for the past three decades. Her husband works for a travel agency and both her daughters are working. Like every mother, Kaushalya has dreams for her daughters and she thinks that her daughters are capable of realizing them. She is happy in her little home but is affected by the community’s collective problems.
Kaushalya decided to be part of the women’s group in Jain Mandir to bring about a change in her cluster. She feels that it is important for women to mobilize other women for collective concerns.
Women have to come together to educate others in the community. A lot of us associated with the committee and we have seen the changes. We didn’t know how to talk earlier but we have learned to voice our issues. We didn’t use to get time from daily household chores earlier but now we make an effort to take time out for the meetings. People have to associate with these meetings to step forward. We can put forth our issues with the authorities with the help of these meetings and our committee.
Kaushalya has seen the changes that the committee has helped bring about in the cluster. She acknowledges the work done by authorities when they were pursued collectively.
Our toilets were so bad but now there is a lot of improvement. We filed an application after getting it duly signed by all women in the committee. All the seats were broken, there were no doors, walls were broken. All this was repaired. Whitewash was done. There was no water, so water tanks were installed in various places. I thank the authorities for all this. This was possible only when we got together to complain.
Kaushalya has a long list of pending issues that she would like to take forward with the committee but she is also aware of irresponsible behavior of certain residents towards the facilities provided. She urges them to take up good practices of health and hygiene.
We should get all facilities but if we don’t take care of these facilities then it is our own fault. We cannot blame anyone else. We have to teach the others, make them aware of good practices of hygiene. Take the garbage in the dustbins and dump it in the collection van. Don’t throw garbage outside, keep cleanliness in your households. Keep the drains clean. When we follow good practices of hygiene, we can tell the others as well.
I want to see many changes in my cluster. Sewer needs to be repaired. We should have a bigger CTC here. There should be a separate toilet for the kids. There are only three toilet seats for kids so they defecate in the open.
Kaushalya is ready to work with other women as one community to bring about the changes she feels necessary for her family to live in a clean environment.
We have to keep our cluster clean. We can train other women to not dirty their surroundings. We can even get together to scold the alcoholics so they stop creating nuisance for all of us here. We have to unite the entire community to bring about a change. One person has no impact but the entire community has a huge impact if they all decide to stand together.
By Shruti Pushkarna