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?