Meet Our Himalayan Haat Ladies – Part 2
The first part of our Himalayan Haat ladies series was much loved and we have brought some more stories celebrating the women of Himalayan Haat.
Are you ready to meet some of our Himalayan Haat ladies?
Parvati is over 50 years old and this is her first job. Her son has been feeding the family for many years but now she is also able to contribute financially. “I like working at Himalayan Haat I get to meet and socialise with other women” says Parvati. No one can match her skills at cutting garlic for different flavoured salts. Grinding pink salt is also a part of her work.
Anita has worked for our family for over 20 years. She was the only one in her family with a steady job and she raised her 5 kids by herself. Today, her three boys have jobs in different cities and girls are studying. Anita is now going to be a grandmother. She says “It’s finally my turn to take it easy! I can’t work full time anymore and Himalayan Haat gives me a chance to continue earning at my convenience.”
Sonam does most of the canning of the bottles and jars at Himalayan Haat. She has two cows and also sells milk. She doesn’t have to go far into the forest anymore for grass as she can collect it from the Himalayan Haat farm. It saves her a lot of time and effort and she can spend more time with her family.
Rupa was married when she was just 14 years old. She has done odd labour jobs before – mostly coolie work like carrying stones for construction. She really likes coming to Himalayan Haat because it is ‘aram ka kaam’ (easy work). She tells us that when she comes to farm she forgets all the tensions and worries of home for a few hours.
Poonam has two boys and her husband works in a car workshop. She is fond of dancing and singing and one can find her always joking around. Poonam shared with us “Things for women may have changed a lot. We are more aware than our mothers were. But still, here it is not like the plains where there are many job opportunities for ladies.” She enjoys the work at Himalayan Haat as it is not the same all the time.
Vimla is a mother of three naughty and energetic boys! Her husband works in a photocopy shop in Pauri town. She has been working at Himalayan Haat for almost three years. She likes the flexibility of the work at Himalayan Haat as she gets paid by the hour so she can come when it suits her. She is involved in the filling of the infusion and salt bottles.
When village people have no option besides migrating to cities in search of employment, creating local jobs is the only way to reverse this trend. These women financially support their families and are able to provide a good education for their children. The good news is – slowly and steadily change is happening.
Read more about the challenges faced by pahadi village women.