1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Jayanthi-an Inspiring Woman

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Agatha83, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. Agatha83

    Agatha83 Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    1,914
    Trophy Points:
    300
    Gender:
    Female
    The 70th Independence celebrations were routine affairs for many of us, but for one woman it was something very special, a day where she could not only be free from her profession -cremating dead bodies, but also a day, on which she was honoured by the TN state Government with the prestigious ‘Kalpana Chawla’ award for her exemplary courage and daring enterprise.

    Jayanthi of Namakkal, would have been just an ordinary woman unknown to this world, carrying out her humdrum routine life, cremating dead bodies in a gasifier crematorium, a thankless job, one which even men dread to take up, whatever may be the compelling financial reasons, thanks to the societal taboos placed against the dead and its accompanying rituals, if not for the honour conferred upon her. Jayanthi has taken up the inimitable profession, fighting odds and above all has been honoured for her immense courage and determination.

    Jayanthi coming from a forward community and armed with a post graduation degree in Economics, found out that cremating her dead father, a gurukkal in a temple was the most challenging task, as none of her relatives came forward to help her, fearing their own loss of jobs. Yes, the temples had strict regulations that persons who performed death rituals could not continue with their work as a priest in a temple for a year.

    It was the deep economic crisis in her family and her failing health, which made her look out for a job which could offer some succour. During such time, a trust helped her finding a job as a gardener in the crematorium in Namakkal, from where she slowly learnt the ropes of the job involved in giving a decent send off to the dead people. Thus she became the manager of the Namakkal Crematorium, with ten people assisting her in cremating the dead.

    Jayanthi stands as a beacon of courage and determination against a biased society. Initial resistance came from her family members, some of them still boycotting her, but it was the support and acceptance from her close circle of family- her mother, husband and children, which gave her the courage to face the social stigma. Incidentally her mother who was overjoyed at the recognition given to her daughter by the Government, was not alive to see her daughter receiving the honour. One week before the Independence Day celebrations, her mother passed away and the daughter faithfully carried out the cremation without seeking any help from others.

    Coming from a upper caste family, it was sure a path breaking decision to have entered a profession which was all through the years donned by people belonging to lower caste. Sensitive to even the plain smell of eggs at a young age, this lady got used to the rotten smell of burning flesh, dedicated as she was to her profession. Thus she has set an example for other women who are scared about death itself and societal taboos against women involving themselves in death rituals. Yes Jayanthi, it is a Herculean task you are performing, for which we all saLute you for your courage and determination. Here is the electrifying ovation for you, from women spread all over the world not only for the great honour conferred upon you, but also for your courageous stand defying societal norms, bringing pride and dignity to a profession which was all the time shunned by an orthodox society. Jayanthi has not only set fire to dead bodies but also to all those patriarchial traditions.

    "Just seize every opportunity you have

    Embrace every experience,

    Make a mark for all the right reasons"

    Chrissie Wellington
     
    Loading...

  2. sindmani

    sindmani Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,556
    Likes Received:
    1,687
    Trophy Points:
    285
    Gender:
    Female
    Nice information
     
    Agatha83 likes this.
  3. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,166
    Likes Received:
    22,476
    Trophy Points:
    440
    Gender:
    Female
    Agatha,

    Thanks for sharing. A truly inspiring woman. Googling shows not much has been written about her so far, so even more thanks for sharing.

    India has many such unsung heroes who quietly go about their own little revolutions with big impact and long-lasting change. To do what she did, against that kind of criticism, it is truly commendable. I recently visited a place where bodies are prepared for the funeral. Accompanied someone who was preparing for a loved one's expected death. I think I privately kind of prided myself on being able to go. After returning, and the usual thorough bath etc., I was thinking I want to 'treat' the clothes I wore, the handbag, the chappals I wore and so on. And, right here in IL, I was kind of impressed with myself for being able to read Viswa's recent snippet on the final Journey, without skipping anything.

    And there are women who calmly do this for a living, against all odds. Respect.
     
    Shamalamurthy, Agatha83 and sindmani like this.
  4. deepv

    deepv Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,206
    Likes Received:
    1,660
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    Thanks for sharing the information about Jayanthi.
     
    Agatha83 likes this.
  5. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    4,298
    Likes Received:
    8,694
    Trophy Points:
    408
    Gender:
    Female
    In Tamil nadu dailies this news was reported very nicely with photos.I think now the girl continues to work in Electrical crematorium along with another well educated girl.Kudos to such girls who act with courage and determination.
    Jayasala 42
     
    sindmani and Agatha83 like this.
  6. Agatha83

    Agatha83 Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    1,914
    Trophy Points:
    300
    Gender:
    Female
    Thank you sindmani.

    Agatha83
     
    sindmani likes this.
  7. Agatha83

    Agatha83 Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    1,914
    Trophy Points:
    300
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Rihana,

    When I was discussing about this snippet with my DD, she was not ready to believe it and asked me if it was a story or a real one. As you have rightly said Google also didn't give much help on information about Jayanthi. But the local tv channels have provided a lot of info about her.
    Though death is said to be a great leveller, in that it doesn't make choices, between rich and poor, we the human beings are caste conscious and till now it was only people belonging to the lower caste who were in to this profession. But this lady has brought a monumental change in our attitude towards this profession. Thank you for your valuable FB.

    Agatha83
     
    Rihana likes this.
  8. iyerviji

    iyerviji IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    32,888
    Likes Received:
    25,679
    Trophy Points:
    640
    Gender:
    Female
    Thank you for sharing about the inspiring woman.That lady is really great
     
    Agatha83 likes this.
  9. Agatha83

    Agatha83 Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    1,914
    Trophy Points:
    300
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Jayasala,
    Our Hindu religion prohibits women from going to the crematorium and I have never been to one. But women like Jayanthi have tremendous courage to fight against patriarchal practices and stand dignified.

    Agatha83
     
    sindmani, kaniths and Rihana like this.
  10. curiousgals78

    curiousgals78 Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    444
    Trophy Points:
    138
    Gender:
    Female
    a truly inspiring woman. thanks for sharing.
     
    Agatha83 likes this.

Share This Page