“See they are discriminating against us” said my colleague as we were sitting in our canteen and waiting for our coffee. We had ordered first and the person who ordered after us got the coffee before we could get.
I am writing this solely for the girl I met during my data collection. It has been months and some faces keep coming back to me like they have become a part of me and hers is etched among them.
It was one of those cloudy afternoons in central India and I was roaming in the villages, interviewing women for my study. I had reached this house whose gate was made of wood and shrubs, which is very common here. I moved the wood and went inside the house. Someone from inside called, “kaun aye he?” (Who has come?)
When I was asked to write about my experiences as a young researcher in Kashmir, I suddenly felt very confused. I felt clueless as to where to begin. Millions of memories came gushing to my mind. I did not know who would be the readers of my piece. So, I had to play safe. Well, having settled my trepidation, I began to write.
E-waste, a new and hazardous category of waste, has further complicated the waste management scenario not only in India but globally. When talking about its management in India and other developing countries, maximum quantity of e-waste lands up in to the hands of informal recyclers. They use all sorts of crude methods to handle e-waste which threatens both the environmental health and health of the informal handlers.
‘‘Medicine is a social science, andpolitics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale ’’, commented Rudolf Virchow, which roughly translates to the fact that in order to treat illnesses, we have to address the causes of causes i.e. the underlying social determinants of health. The WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health defines social determinants as the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age and also the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.
“Sir, would you like to have some black tea?” My co-medical officer translated for me. It was a time when I did not understand the language of ‘Gondi’. “Definitely”, I replied. I am always open to any kind of tea or whatever served under that name because I just love the idea of tea!
She looked back twice to make sure no one was around. Hesitating, she lowered her meek voice to a whisper and asked,
"Hum baccha rokne ke liye kya karien?"(What do I do to not get pregnant?)
I was even more perplexed than the poor soul who had finally mustered the courage to ask. It is not that I had not ventured this information to poor rural women earlier. However, this simple question shook me a little.