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01. On a small death
02. 'Disabled' but coping well with parenthood
03. The politics of gender in the politics of hate
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On a small death
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Who is there to weep for you, little girl who died too soon?
Yet we all wept with reasons each our own:
Grandma wept conventional tears
Though glad at heart her burdened house was rid of a girl;
Mother - poor Mother - secretly shed her sorrow,
Though you never knew;
And the good neighbours who always join to help the dead to final rest,
Why should they weep for what is second-hand sorrow to them?
I could have wept, but thought: why weep for so small a death?
And thus, we all mourned, as must at death.
According to custom, resting foreheads in our hands.
Finally we lifted you, a small burden, from that sad house;
We walked a little, turned the corner toward the burning grounds
And there she was your little friend, at the window.
She looked intently, watching your new game:
To climb up like that and sleep on grown-ups' shoulders;
We, the mournful, paying no attention, moved on.
Suddenly it dawned upon your friend;
This cruel game - your grim departure; she cired her lament aloud.
She mourned, the only one in the world to feel the loss.
And I who never meant to weep could hardly hold my tears.
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Source: Uma Shamkar Joshi, 1930 quoted in Wadley S (1989)
"Female Life Chances in Rural India", Cultural Survival Quarterly 13, 2, p. 35
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In one area of the one-hectare farm a man works for 1,212 hours in a year, a pair of bullocks for 1,064 hours and a woman for 3,485 hours. The woman's average working hours are: 640 hours for weeding etc. 384 hours for irrigation, 650 hours for for transporting organic manure, 557 hours for sowing and 984 hours for harvesting and threshing.
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Source: Government of India's country report, Beijing 1995, p. 60.
       
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Photo : Abir Abdullah/ Drik

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