As I sat in a concrete house, in the middle of the jungle, with no network connectivity, Durga Devi Ji, sixty year old woman, sat in front of me, squatted on her hind feet, as she ate her bhindi and roti. She was enthusiastic to answer me, before she could swallow.
The conversation began when I said, “I got fever, as I had a cold bath and washed my hair.” She looked concerned, and turned away to hand me a glass of black pepper, salt and warm water. I drank what I thought was an odd combination and thanked her. She continued, “Mai unpadh hu, mujhe kuch nahi aata.” ( I am an uneducated woman, I don’t know anything.” I wasn’t shocked with her reply.
I had read somewhere women who don’t earn an income don’t value their own work. All I was seeing, was the result of such thoughts.
I replied, “shiksha sirf ek madhyam hai, ham kisi ko bhi kisi se compare nahin kar sakte, agar main aapse aapki field ke baare mein poochhugi to aap mujhe har ek baat baata payegi jaisa ki main apni field ka bataaugi. aapke pass zindagi ki kai kahaaniyaan hain jo mere pass nahin.”
(If I asked you anything related to your area of work, you would be telling me things I never knew.So really we can’t compare ourselves, but yes its definitely having an education is another ballgame, what you have is real knowledge, life experiences, stories from the field. You have solution to your problems, not the resources. That was the end to conversation. I washed my dishes, smilled and said Goodnight.
As I lay down for the night, I scrolled through Readera a free app, where you can read downloaded books. I realized I have knowledge at my fingertips, anything I wanted at the click of a button. Books from climate psychology, stoicism,Oprah Winfrey’s ‘What I know for sure’, the Tibetan book of the dead. I close my app, and look into the dark.
All I want to do is make their lives easier. We can’t decide where we are born. Some are born into privilege while some in poverty. The only way out is through. And doing a fellowship on education, I have realised the value of it. Education is the solution to almost anything.
Being where I am, I feel priveledged that I am able to read, this is my education