New Delhi: Every nation’s growth depends on how much it invests in women’s development. And so, gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous world. The Chenchu tribal community that lives in Telegana’s Amrabad tiger-reserve has been setting an example of gender equality and women empowerment for the rest of the country.
NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India met Rajyalakshmi and Dasari Anjaneyulu, the natives of the Chenchu tribe who have been married for eight years and reside with their three children at Amrabad.
Since the beginning of their marriage, the couple has shared equal duties and responsibilities in managing their home and children. Talking about the community’s culture, Ms. Rajyalakshmi informed,
Earlier husbands and wives fought a lot and only men were allowed to work outside the home. But now, the situation is different, as both men and women are working. This is called gender equality. I am proud to say that my husband supports me a lot. We discuss things together and get the job done.
She said that in the Chenchu community, everyone shares the responsibility and husband helps the wife in all household activities.
Mr. Anjaneyulu, Rajlakshmi’s husband, said that a wife is a crucial part of a man’s life and the ultimate essence of a successful relationship lies in proper understanding between the couple. It is important for a man to help and safeguard her wife and children.
We live together and both of us are equal, especially with children. I believe a husband should always be a wife’s support system and stand by her through her hard times , he added.
Not just in the villages, members of the Chenchu tribe living in the forest area have the same belief, of treating the partner as an equal.
Lingaya and Lingama belong to the Chenchu community, who live inside the Amrabad forest reserve in Mallapur Penta. Talking about the functioning of the villagers in decision making on any matter concerning the community, Mr. Lingaya said,
In our place, whatever may be the occasion, or financial matter, everyone in the village meets and discusses what needs to be done.
Speaking of their own alignment of duties and responsibilities, the duo said that they have been divided according to each other’s feasibility.
While I go to the forest and collect things and get home, my wife works for the supply and distribution of eggs, pulses and other food items in the village. We both are happily earning. Our house is in both our names, first wife then husband, Lingaya informed.
Talking about how his husband’s behavioural change has turned out things for better, Lingama said,
My husband’s behaviour has changed a lot, he is not like he used to be. I am happy that I get to work and that we have decided to divide our duties equally. This has eased a lot of work outside and at home. We wish to make our son a doctor one day and for that we both will earn.
The Chenchus are a particularly vulnerable tribe, living in the interiors of the country. But if you think of the way they think, they are definitely progressiveway forward. Not only do they share responsibility as husband and wife, but even share the property and land.
In Lingama and Lingaya’s house, the wife is the first owner of the house first. That is what really is known as gender equality.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.