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Early morning around 6:30 am rang the doorbell and Sangeeta rushed from the kitchen to open the door for her house help Geeta. It’s been an almost tedious and humdrum routine for the young mom -Geeta to start her day as early as 4 am in the morning.
Her day starts before the crack of dawn with her mopping her 250 sq. feet of space (yeah.. that’s home for her) followed by preparing lunch for her husband, who is a mason by profession and her only daughter Gauri who attends a local municipal school and is currently studying at 1st standard and seems to be a quick-witted smart kid.Despite these hardships it’s a seldom moment when Geeta is seen without her naïve smile.
As Sangeeta had taken a day off her work, she engaged in a tete-a-tete while Geeta continued with her mundane work. Sangeeta was taken aback once she came to know about Geeta’s penchant toward education.
While talking about her dismal and gloomy childhood, Geeta’s bright eyes filled with remorse, dejection and sadness and she started to blurt like a volcano which was dormant since ages but suddenly started erupting. She spoke about her family wherein her brothers took the front seat when it came to education or even when a special dish was cooked at home, though that was once in a blue moon.
Though India's constitution guarantees free primary school education for both girls and boys up to age 14. This has been repeatedly reconfirmed, but primary education in India is not universal, and often times not seen as really necessary for girls.
Her mother constantly imbibed the concept of patriarchal society foundation, and emphasized that she should learn domestic chores, as she will need to perform them for her future husbands and in-laws.
She blatantly admitted her lack of education since childhood saying “I never went to school. I've always been a little slow when it comes to learning but my family gave up on me and they weren't willing to spend money on my education since that wouldn't benefit them. So every evening I wait for my 6 year old daughter to come back home and teach me whatever she learns at school... and she's never given up on me."
Geeta on realizing that time was racing, she briskly wiped the tear that rolled down her rough and tanned cheeks and hastily rushed towards the door saying “I’ve to complete my homework as well before Gauri returns from school after completing the chores of remaining four households”!