A group of sixty women have come to Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya to receive training on agriculture. They are all from unheard villages of Purulia district. Bishnu Charan Mahato- my scholar escorted them from distant places to Kalyani town. I know Purulia district well. I also know how it’s a difficult task to move women from remote villages of Purulia. However, I was excited to meet them here. In other occasions I visited,Dumurdi,Ketlapur, Para,Sagardihi and other small villages in connection with Turmeric project. Batu and her group members of Ratanpur village wanted to see me. To see my fellows, I went in the evening to Lakehall where they are staying for the last five days.
It was nice to meet them,listen to them and sharing different aspects. I wanted to know someone’s voice which could be cited . Listen to their unsung stories. I was charmed with their group activities. How do they fight within family,within villages & within societies were interesting. I wanted more and more. I asked them ,please say something on literacy extension program. I want to see your firm attitude what can inspire others. A mid-wife stood and said my example you can quote.
” whats’ your name”? -’ Phulkumari Mahato’?
-’you are from?’ ‘Dumurdi,Purulia-11″
O’K. Please say’
‘ Sir, I hailed from Ketlapur village,Para Thana. We were five sisters and two brothers. I was a school girl that time. just passed class nine. I was forced to get marry. I came to my in-lawas house as a Bouma. Next year I gave birth a daughter. After two years again a son was born. I made my husband to stop child-bearing and went through operation. I ‘m the first women in the village to dare it done. I took five years to nurse my son and daughter. They grew up. I wanted to study. I was searching where to read .Suddenly. I came in contact with nibaran Mahato& Sukumar Ghosh. They advised me to complete madhyamik from open institution. There was a need of nine hundred rupees. I had no money. I felt ashamed to ask from family. Nibaran Babu told me that I must go through some training to make sticks(Dhup) and earn. However, he agreed to give an advance of Rs.1000.00 conditioning that I have to return back after training and selling sticks. This money helped me to clear class -x. It is please to be recorded that my daughter passed X in the same year. Both of us used to read simultaneously. Again.I waited. I thought I must read more. In the year 2011, I qualified Higher Secondary examination. Sir, i want to complete my graduation. Now,I have not to depend on others for my study. I earn at least one thousand per month by selling sticks. I want my girl should study. She should not marry now. she is now a college-girl. My son is also reading in x1.’
I was be-moved by her story. really Phulkumari is great.