Thursday, May 7, 2009

Helping women.... the Tamil Government way!

It's been quite the debate for as long as I can remember that women empowerment should be brought out to the foray. And well, being a lady myself, I second that!

But... In Tamil Nadu, the way the government's been helping women is... well... a little unusual to say the least. I'm the only daughter in my household and we all know that for someone to be empowered and independent, they have to have access to quality education. And giving out scholarships is one way of encouraging people to stick to studying. And there are many states in India that offer scholarships to the only girl child who goes on to complete higher education. And that is a smart move. Not only does it encourage people to have girl children, it also encourages them to stop with one if they do.

But in Tamil Nadu, the government's taking empowerment (if you can even remotely call it that!) to a whole new level! You do get financial aid and stuff if you're a woman. But there's just one small itty-bitty catch to that. You need to be pregnant to actually claim it.

Yep! You heard it right! Pregnant women get Rs.6000 from the government to cater to their 'requirements'. And when they say requirements, do they actually mean the requirements of the woman and her unborn child or those of her husband and his entire family? My mother works in a nationalized bank and one should hear the tales she brings home to tell!

People come with their newly wed wives claiming them to be pregnant... three months into it, and ask for an account to be opened in their wives names with the husband as the benefactor. And most of these women are so illiterate, they can't even sign their own names in the forms much less fill it up! And the husbands are so keen on knowing when the money will materialize and when they can come collect it that in their earnestness 'we' becomes 'I'.

Another deplorable fact is that most of these women are barely eighteen making their marriage border on legality! I ask this government. Is this what empowering women mean to you guys out there? Having late teenagers pregnant with hardly any financial security and education to speak of? And this scheme is valid for all pregnancies that the woman would go through. And isn't that quite the incentive for the husbands to try for a second.... or a ninth.... or a hundredth? What of the woman's health? What of her mental peace?

Is it because the government seems to think that in these households the women vote to whichever party their husbands tell them to? (This is infact true in many houses including that of my house-maid's!) Some democracy we boast about!

And I'm glad I've enough sense up my brains to know the political rights from wrongs. And rest assured, no man shall ever command me to vote for some smartass party he favours! And nope! I am not going to get married or get pregnant when I'm not even financially or emotionally ready for such giant leaps just because some jerk can enjoy a round of whiskey and come home and try for another child all because he wants the money!


  1. yeah, let's vote for vijayakanth

  2. Suuuuure! Then bungee jumping and sale of ostentatious costumes will make a killing wouldn't it! XD