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In the fold

VISIBLE | BY HEERA

January 1st, 2021

 

The Indian Army, as an organisation, has influenced and facilitated my development in specific areas (more on it later). In addition to personally gaining, I saw others benefit too. As a child, I observed women’s education centres operated by the Indian Army, ensuring women—wives of retired Army personnel and Army widows—stay in the fold. I met few women—to get an insight into their sentiments—at one such vocational training centre that empowers women by offering a variety of courses and employment.

 

Namaste. My name is Heera. I want to learn about you and how employment at this centre benefits you. May I come in?

[In Unison] Please come in.

 

Didi, what’s your name [I ask the lady in the printed tunic.]

My name is Roopa. I have been here for approximately two and a half years; I was employed here after my husband passed.

 

Was your husband in the Indian Army?

Yes; he [Roopa’s husband] passed in 2016; he was posted in Arunachal [a state in Northeast India].

 

 

You must have faced tough times after your husband’s passing.

I only saw terrible days. But now, life is better. My daughter is in high school, and my son is in intermediate school.

 

How did you decide to learn new skills and start working?

When my husband passed, someone suggested that I start learning new skills at the centre (to keep me occupied). Then I learned how to operate these gadgets.

The [Indian] Army has given me this facility [to learn]; I must make use of it, and be reliant. I also receive money for my work. Now, I have my own money to run life.

It’s good to hear that you are now in a much better place and self-reliant. Would you like to share something about the Indian Army?

My husband was in the Army; I want my son to join the [Indian] Army, as it’s about serving the country.

 

What positive changes have come into your life since starting working here?

Living amid Army, I feel that my family is with me. I was not attached to my relatives, but there was always an attachment to the Indian Army.  The Army takes care of me. I am in a position to access many things. And this environment [at the centre] is pleasant, and my time passes well.

 

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