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Gita devi, RAMU member

village and Panchayat Thana, Block Kareda, District Bhilwara

"I have been working in NREGA for two months now. I was married off when I was 10 years old. It's been 9 years now that I am married and have three kids now. My mother passed away very early and I have one brother. My father married me off. He did not have money for himself, being physically disabled, he considered me as a burden with the only solution to wed me off. He was compelled to do what he did. He got money for giving me away. I did not understand what happened with me. My husband is 11 years older than me and is physically disabled too. He was disabled from the very beginning. My in laws took care of me. They gave me everything I wished for but never sent me to school. I have never been to school. I had my first child when I was 14 years old and now I have three of them. My husband's limbs does not function properly, so all he does is rear goats. The goats are also not our own. He rears them the entire month for Rs. 50. Our expenses are borne by my mother-in-law and father-in-law but now that they have also grown old, they don't go to market often. Now that I am working here, I have earned some money for my own. After completing my NREGA work, I go to do some other labour works like working in fields, construction sites, road construction or whenever anyone asks for labour. I use it to buy household things. I don't have any wish for myself. I don't know how to sign or where am I giving my thumb impression because I don't know how to read. " Background: A 19 year old from Bhil community, considered among the untouchables.


                                               written by Tamalika Bera

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