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100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolution

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by sveta86, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. sveta86

    sveta86 Silver IL'ite

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    100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolution

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    When I looked at this poster for the first time hanging at cross roads in my city, my first opinion that came into my mind was just by lighting of 100,000 lanterns will protect women from atrocities and in single day bring enlightenment in human minds in the said women worshipped country.
    Later after when I went through the article, I came to know what they really meant.
    This event was organized to bring self-employment and empowerment to the women working in tobacco making products in and around Telangana and experiencing health hazards.
    This event is also been organized to bring awareness among the people for eye donation. One lakh lanterns when flying in the sky brought a real feast to the eyes. But here a question is posed to everyone…what is it be going through the people who cannot see. We enjoy the beautiful nature and when we leave from this world, why can’t we re-live again in some others by donating our eyes.

    The below is a small story from a women working in Adilabad, Telangana as a Beedi rolling worker. The details are given how the event tries to empower such people.
    A small town of Adilabad in Telangana alone, hundreds of families have for generations relied on beedi rolling as their only means of survival. Young girls and women alike can be seen rolling cigarettes in groups out in the open. For most, if they do not roll enough beedis every day there simply will not be food on the plate. Almost all beedi workers in Adilabad, like the other beedi manufacturing pockets in India, are female and a large of number of them young girls.
    From unhealthy living conditions to exploitative wages, slave-like working conditions and severe health consequences - the situation of beedi workers involves violation of their fundamental rights and freedoms on many levels. The majority of girls are pulled out of education by the time they complete primary school to support their families' income.
    Youngest among four siblings, 11-year-old Salma dropped out of school last year when she completed grade 4. "I wanted to continue going to school but we are very poor and have been struggling to pay the rent," she says as she struggles to draw breath. Salma is suffering from jaundice and is so frail she can barely sit straight. Yet, she is tasked with rolling up to 1500 beedis a day to support her family. Squatting on the floor and hunched up, she rolls cigarettes for over 12 hours every day and still earns just over two dollars. In addition to jaundice, Salma has also developed a ringworm infection on her wrist, quite common in the area due to poor hygiene and sanitation. She is in dire need of medical attention but visiting local hospital means a day off work due to long queues and a day's wage in transport. Her parents cannot afford either.

    The health impact on beedi workers is visible on all age groups. Tuberculosis, asthma, body pain and postural problems related with hips and joints are most common. Continuous beedi rolling leads to absorption of high doses of nicotine directly through skin. The skin on the children's fingertips begins to thin progressively, and by the time they reach their 40s they cannot roll cigarettes any more. Mahboobjaan, a mother of three girls, is in her mid-30s and is already losing sensation in her hands. Her hands often swell up and doesn’t know what she would do if she can’t roll beedi's anymore.

    The worst thing for beedi workers is the feeling that there is no protection, no welfare, no State support. They vote but have no power or effective representation. For all development indicators they remain at the bottom of the ladder all their lives. Even among them, girls suffer the most. Throughout their life cycle their basic rights are violated; as children, as child brides, as young mothers, they continue to fight for survival with extreme labour and economic slavery.
    In summer as the temperatures reach 45 degrees Celsius, streets in Adilabad are engulfed in a stifling cloud of tobacco dust. Infants play among heaps of tobacco leaves. Covered in a pool of sweat, young girls roll beedis with their eyes transfixed on their tobacco tray. Older women, who cannot roll any more, help with trimming the ebony leaves. The work continues till late in the night just to secure next day's meal and to keep a roof above the head.
    Next morning, and for most every single morning for rest of their lives, it is exactly the same story. The breathless race to 1000 starts with 1 all over again.

    · Making a lantern is less tedious a job compared to rolling beedis.
    · Making 200 lanterns is a much more welcome change than rolling 1000 beedis a day.
    · Indian market for lanterns alone is at about 10 million lanterns a year.
    · Greedy Indian traders/importers for exorbitant margins are flooding the market with the cheapest quality lanterns from China.
    · The trained workers can manufacture the best of the qualities of sky lanterns and market them at the same price as the cheapest of the quality presently being sold.
    · If made in India at the same price the best quality can be attained.
    · On an average of 200 lanterns are made and sold by the newly trained workers with an average margin of 3 rupees, they make Rs.600 a day as against Rs.100 a day by rolling beedis.
    · They can also make an additional income from the by products made from paper wastage.
    · This enables women in a household to let her kids get an education instead of rolling beedis to add up to the family income.

    Instead of waiting for the government to act and support people living in bad conditions the initiative should be taken by the society itself.
    For this event they have collected Rs.100 from each lantern. The sum accumulated has been used in the development of that village.
    Such kind of events helps to bring more awareness and selflessness among the well-educated and well-earned.
    The latest movie from Aamir khan and his successful program Sathyameva Jayate one among those awareness activities.
    Hope Such kind of events will happen regularly and the world become like Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

    Regards,
    swetha
     
    7 people like this.
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  2. iyerviji

    iyerviji IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: 100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolut

    Sveta dear welcome to snippets. Your first post is very thought provoking.
     
  3. sveta86

    sveta86 Silver IL'ite

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    Re: 100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolut

    thanks Vijima for the encouragement
     
  4. VaniVyas

    VaniVyas Platinum IL'ite

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    Re: 100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolut

    Thanks for highlighting such events. They are eye openers for many people who fail to see how their lives can improve through hard work and dedication.

    I pray to God that many such organizations should come up to help these children and women.
     
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  5. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: 100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolut

    A real eye opener.Thanks for posting about it.God bless you
     
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  6. indoc

    indoc Gold IL'ite

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    Re: 100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolut

    Exploitation in beedi industry is rampant.. starts right from the collection of beedi leaves which is done mostly by tribals.
     
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  7. Saisakthi

    Saisakthi IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: 100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolut

    :welcome Sister @sveta86 to IL family and Snippets,

    Yes we really need to understand that this part of India exists large in number, rather than the fast moving tech gripped cities.

    May Baba bless all of us always, SAIRAM
     
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  8. sveta86

    sveta86 Silver IL'ite

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    Re: 100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolut

    yes vanivyas hope so
     
  9. sveta86

    sveta86 Silver IL'ite

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    Re: 100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolut


    Thankyou Saisakthi sister
     
  10. sveta86

    sveta86 Silver IL'ite

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    Re: 100,000 Lanterns Sky Festival -- Women Safety,Women Empowerment,The Smile Revolut

    thanks for the feedback indoc and kanaka Raghavan
     

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