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A Torture-not From Husband Or Mil

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jayasala42, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    Cane-cutting contractors are unwilling to hire women who menstruate, so hysterectomies have become the norm

    We will hardly find women with wombs in these villages. 'These are villages of womb-less women ' report the news papers.

    The drought affected Beed district of Maharashtra is one such place.Women shed tears soon on hearing any discussion about this topic.

    Women in Vanjarwadi,another village, where 50 per cent of the women have had hysterectomies, say that it is the “norm” in villages to remove the uterus after having two or three children.

    Most of the women are cane cutters and migrate to the sugar belt of western Maharashtra during the cane cutting season; with the drought intensifying, the number of migrants multiplies.

    The contractor gets it confirmed that women have no wombs( uterus) before giving job to them.
    October to March is the cane cutting season and people in thousands and even in lakhs ,migrate to work during the period.

    Contractors draw up contracts with the husband and wife counted as one unit. Cane cutting is a rigorous process and if the husband or wife takes a break for a day, they have to pay a fine of Rs500 per day to the contractor for every break.


    Menstrual periods hinder work and attract fines. The answer, is to go in for a hysterectomy so the women no longer have them.

    After a hysterectomy, there is no chance of menstrual periods. So, there is no question of taking a break during cane cutting. "We cannot afford to lose even a rupee,” lament the workers.

    The earnings during this period, have to be kept throughout the year.

    Contractors have a target to complete in a limited timeframe and hence they don’t want women who would have periods during cane cutting.

    The contractors say that they don't force women to undergo hysterectomy , but they keep the contract conditions so rigid that the women have no alternative. It seems to appear that the decision for the surgery has been taken by women themselves.

    In many cases it is learnt that contractors initially bear the expenses for the surgery and later recover from the wages.

    In the cane cutter community, men and women earn around Rs 2000 ( max) per day depending the kilograms of cane they cut,menstruation is considered a bane and the surgery is done even for people in their late 20s.This has a serious impact on the health of the women as they develop a hormonal imbalance, mental health issues,dry vaginal issues and other related disorders such as gaining weight inspite of very hard physical work.Possibility of cervical cancer cannot be rules out.

    In the families somehow they try to justify this surgery , since they can't take even a day's break and they cannot get work anywhere later in the year.There is no rest and women having periods is an additional problem. They make the hay while the sun shines.But with the fear of probable illnesses haunting their mind, "How long will the sun shine"?- is a thousand dollar question.

    Does the problem end here? A greater problem is in the anvil.

    The life of a cane cutter woman is hellish. There is repeated sexual exploitation of women by contractors and their men.This becomes all the more possible or justifiable ,since pregnancy and child bearing are totally ruled out. Who cares if the women become seriously ill leading to terminal illness even before reaching 40?
    During the season Cane cutters have to live in cane fields or near sugar mills in a tent. There are no bathrooms and toilets.

    Many women in villages in this parched landscape said private medical practitioners prescribe a hysterectomy surgery even if they complain of normal abdominal pain or a white discharge.

    Is there any end to woes of these women?We talk of torture by husbands and MIL very often. But this suffering seems to have been self imposed for bread winning.Where is the escape route?

    jayasala 42
     
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  2. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    Feeling sad to "like" that post @jayasala42
    ILforum members must give up sugar, jaggery, and foods/sweets made of these.
     
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  3. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    This is simply outrageous. To tell the truth, this is the first time I am hearing of this. How come this is not being highlighted in our 'breaking news' hungry media? Think of the torture at the hands of the job provider, the husband AND the mil. Being harassed in one field does not in any way mitigate the harassment by the family.
    I also wonder why these women choose to take up this job? Am sure there are hundreds of other places where they can get jobs. Rs. 500 fine per day? That is ridiculous. Even domestic workers have unions and rules.

    Now let me play the devil's advocate here. Maybe this might a blessing in disguise so they don't give birth to anymore kids to go down the same route as them. Some hypothetical individuals have been saved the agony of being born, harassed and living a life of doom and gloom. Certainly no daughters will be born to be harassed by husband/mil and they won't have to take up jobs, the pre-condition for which is to be physically mutilated.

    Our country is surely progressing very fast! Shame!
     
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  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    I felt very sad on reading this news.This has been going on for a few years.Women are not prepared to come forward since they will suffer the brunt.Being labourers and uneducated they are not likely to get any other job, since this is the industry that has roaring business.
    It is picturised as though the surgery is self opted.You know, how the forms are filled.They cite the existence of some major illnesses and recommend the surgery as the only remedy. They take the signature of the husband also before the surgery. There is absolutely no chance of making appeals anywhere.
    One more additional stress to women.Unless the Govt and other social activists take a positive step, the picture is quite gloomy.
    jayasala 42
     
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  5. yellowmango

    yellowmango IL Hall of Fame

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    This looks like a well thought of arrangement of sexual exploitation along with hard manual labour.
    The hysterectomies seem like convenient solution to their designs .

    Besides why is it being made to look like women don't work during periods. Most women are capable of doing work during periods . If there is some lag ,why can't the husband or someone else from the family make up for it. I guess that doesn't suit the long term basal interest of the men in charge.


    How do the husbands agree to the sexual exploitation.?How is this different from sending the wife for selling her body?

    Why does it have to be husband wife team?
    Why is that a precondition ?Why can't it be two males or even a mother and son team? I guess the mother is not young enough for the contractors fancy ...or letting a mother be sexually exploited not acceptable.

    This is very similar to the surrogacy business the women are forced into for the ' well being ' of the family .There are other ways of earning money or the family learning to live with less.

    If being sexually exploited is a part of the job then why the drama...why not just let her do that year round and live off it. Atleast she won't have to cut open her body.
    I guess that is not respectable enough for the family.

    what is the local administration doing ?
    Why are the contractors ,the doctors not in jail ?

    Prescribing unwanted surgeries is not legal ...so how are they getting away ?

    Lastly...what is the need for the unnecessary heading ?
    Why does every topic have to have mil and husband in it . Although ,in this topic,the husband and his family seem complicit in this exploitation.Why send the young woman to work where she is sexually and physically?

    Besides ,it is very unlikely ( given or culture) that this poor women gets treated with empathy at home after coming back from a season of hard labor and sexual exploitation . Why would people who think this is acceptable have empathy for her?
    Poor woman has no respite at or away from home.

    There are many crimes like rapes( outside homes),murders,molestations,stalking ,acid attacks happen that are not done by husband and mil ...do we have to write ' not by husband and family'.

    An unnecessary irritant introduced into a serious topic that takes away from the subject ....just like the previous one.



    I hope this and the exploitation of poor women in these labor intensive industries are brought to the courts notice .If a law can be introduced to stop exploitation of poor women's bodies in the name of surrogacy ,a law can be brought to stop this shameful exploitation .

    India is not a good place for women. It is one of the worst for economically poor women .
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  6. nakshatra1

    nakshatra1 Platinum IL'ite

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    At first I was stunned at the title and the connection to this topic .I don't like dragging husband/MIL into the discussion but since you mentioned-yes, the husband/family has a role in this just as much as the employers and nexus with certain private doctors as hinted in the case. Family angle-Just like the family patriarch(father) often forces his little kids to do child labour in hazardous jobs to earn money for the family , so can he force to wife to work and earn money at great peril to her life/health. Similar to forced surrgogacy as highlighted by @yellowmango ma'am. In many socio-economically backward households, women too have no right to say no, they are valued very less and 'owned' as property and used as resources for as long as they can- first to produce children and then to earn money without caring for the consequences on health/lifespan.

    True. @jayasala42 ma'am,firstly I appreciate you greatly for highlighting this serious topic. But from the strange title- are you suggesting women should not talk about dowry torture/domestic violence when such 'self-imposed' torture exists? If I'm misunderstanding I would like to apologise.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  7. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    An extremely distressing info post. This is a sad reality for scores of men and women. The entire marathwada is extremely dry facing rain deficit and draught conditions for a major part of the year and Maharashtra is a major sugar belt. What a deadly combination? In the order of priorities, our politicians believe construction of a colossal monument for Sardar or Shivaji is more urgent and important than the daily struggles of its citizens! I am enraged!
     
  8. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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    Very disheartening to read this :disappointed:
    But for a woman torture is a torture no matter who is giving her!
     
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  9. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 Finest Post Winner

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    Okay why are cane cutting machines not used ? I know we Indians are cheap labourers and these daily wage workers need a job but is it at the cost of such painful acts?
     
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  10. yellowmango

    yellowmango IL Hall of Fame

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    Why are married women sent to work here?
    Why not unmarried girls?
    Why are fathers not going with their daughters or sons ?
    Why can't the husband and his parents go to work and the young woman work at home?
    Surely the two parents can compensate for the work done by one young woman.

    The fact that young married women are being made to have hysterectomy after they have done their duty of producing the next generation means it has the acceptance of her marital family .
    If this is not exploitation and abuse,then what is?
     
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