Once Manual Scavengers, Bhagwanta Bai And Anusuya Are Now Building Their Own Legacy
Updated: July 21, 2017 17:40 IST
Bhagwanta Bai from Madhya Pradesh was forced to become a manual scavenger after her marriage by her in-laws. Unable to bear prejudices and ill-treatment from the society she decided to build a new life with skills of stitching and sewing
Forced to work as a manual scavenger, Bhagwanta Bai was socially treated as an outcaste. When she could no longer take the daily taunts and insults, she decided to quit the profession and enroll herself into the Usha Silai School programme to learn sewing. Since, then she has never looked back.
"People who would never visit us, now drop in and eat with us," says Bhagwanta Bai. Her life has changed for good now and she is able to run her household with her income from tailoring.
Bhagwanta Bai's daughter in-law is the next generation of her family who has quit the demeaning profession.
Bhagawanta Bai along with her daughter-in-law is tailoring and teaching sewing to other women. With help from NGOs like Udaan and Jan Sahas, many women across India have taken up sewing and are building a better life for themselves and their families.
"We were treated as untouchables in school. Other students made life so hard for us that we had to drop out" says Anusuya another manual scavenger who rebelled and quit the profession. She faced many adversities, especially since her in-laws shunned her for quitting their family profession.
When her family turned against her, Anusuya found support from her husband. He also quit the demeaning profession and assisted Anusuya in her tailoring business. Today, he feels proud of his wife for showing courage and pushing herself against all odds to provide a better life to their children.