My Voice, My choice

Basudha Modak
Posted October 8, 2018 from South Africa

As childhood memories go, i can vibrantly remember my grand mom telling ,of how , when my father was a one year old,they had to leave everything that was,and move to a new country.Whatever gold she had was taken away at the border and they were marked refugees.They had to stay for years at an unmarked place with 300 people sharing a single toilet, and never able to leave my newborn aunt  alone for a second for fear of rape, murder or kidnapping.Even now when i tell where i am from, people stare with a wink .

To my grand mom, keeping her wits and working non stop was what helped her family survive and succeed.Security to her was food ,shelter and education so that her family could live better. When i was born, she named me  jaya, the divine slayer of evils.

I grew up in a time of clash between tribals  and us.As a protest against nationwide government reforms, we were blatantly murdered , burgled, stolen from. Our visits to and from school was strictly supervised as Maruti vans used to kidnap girls right off the street.We learnt to stay together and shout any time we felt threatened. Women vigilant teams were set up at night based on suspicious activities happening.Our boys were stolen from our homes and trained to become killers when they were supposed to be playing with us.

It kept us young girls safe at the cost of rape and murder of the women who were protecting us.They vanished and we could never ever speak of them.The fear , insecurity and uncertainty never ever left  my childhood years.My getting an education from the state i was born in,  was deemed a success welcomed by many and I became an inspiration.

When my kids were born i secretly promised them that they will never live in fear or uncertainty.

For few years we were fine, but when my husband shifted to this new country due to job, i again find myself branded as foreigner and we must go.I have to again  look around for cars following me, suspicious people talking to my kids, not letting them be alone .I have again gone back to fearing new places and people, and always being half awake at nights.I am seeing and hearing incidences of domestic violence and abuse i never thought possible by humans.

This time i have  started building a strong community of women who are holding each other and helping in keeping the whole community together.I am successful due to social media giving me information more faster than before, but incidences are happening still.Has life changed in this 60 or more  years?NO.

If we need peace and security we as women have to come together and take control of our own lives. We have to be a single voice that will drown out the evil that is happening at homes or in our community. A woman that builds one ,does it for all those that suffered before her, and sets a stepping stone for all generations  that are  born after her.So for our security we need to unite and be the power.To leave a better place for our kids than we were handed over ,I am doing it in my own way, are you? 

 

 

 

This story was submitted in response to The Future of Security is Women .

Comments 10

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Jill Langhus
Oct 08, 2018
Oct 08, 2018

Hi Basudha,

How are you? Thanks for sharing your sad and troubling story. It's sad that you don't think anything has changed, but I'm glad that you have built a strong community of women. Do you have an NGO? I would like to hear more about your community and what you're doing. I believe women will be stronger when they unite as well.

Hope you're having a good day, and good luck with your story submission!

Olutosin
Oct 08, 2018
Oct 08, 2018

Wow, I refuse to weep. I refuse to shed any tears, I kept on reading this piece because I am now stronger.
History is repeating itslef again. We must be the lone voice that will drown evils perpetuated against us.
Hmn, you have started mobilizing like it was done during your grandmother and mother's times and now you represent these women. You are Jaya, you are your name. You are stronger, you are better because you are educated.
You can.
You will.
Love you dearly dear sister.

Basudha Modak
Oct 09, 2018
Oct 09, 2018

Thank you for understanding.i believe it is only us that can bring peace ..Let all of us unite for a safer world .

Basudha Modak
Oct 09, 2018
Oct 09, 2018

No,I Donot have an NGO .I just have a WhatsApp group that I am managing for our safety ..I know we need to be a little more organized,but lack the resources .

Marietta
Oct 10, 2018
Oct 10, 2018

absolutely agree

Basudha Modak
Oct 10, 2018
Oct 10, 2018

thank you for understanding and connecting.At the ground level nothing has changed,but we just need to keep ourselves up , and keep trying to do the best we can. I do not know about other regions, but i still donot feel safe.

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 27, 2018
Nov 27, 2018

Dear Modak,

I am glad to be learning more about you and all you and your family has survived. You watched as your grandmother protected you and your family, and then you yourself had to find the strength t do the same all over again in a different community. "A woman that builds one ,does it for all those that suffered before her, and sets a stepping stone for all generations that are born after her". So painfully true. Your question is important. We must all look to what we are doing and what we can do. Finding everyone here in WorldPulse has given me hope that we are many.

In sisterhood,
Tam

Beth Lacey
May 09
May 09

I wish you well.

chimdirimebere
May 14
May 14

Hi Basudha,
We need to find our voices wherever we are and then help others to find theirs. Thank you.

Harriet

maeann
Jun 04
Jun 04

Hi Basudha,

I encourage you. Be strong.