“Kadam badhaa ke chalna hain toh pao pasaare mat baitho…” (If we want to move ahead, let’s not remain idly seated), rings a determined voice of Wasima, from a small hamlet in Bahadurganj block of Bihar. True to her words, rural women from Muslim communities in North East Bihar are bringing change, one step at a time, for justice and equality.
A 10ftx10ft room, with bright pink walls, one of the walls covered with shelves full of sarees and lingerie. This is the new shop that RamiyaBarse owns, this is the kingdom of her dreams. But just a few years ago, all she had was one saree – torn and dirty – as her sole possession. Her husband Dinesh, did not leave any scope for her to take any other belongings.
“Kis kis ko rokoge? Charai to sabhi karte hain!” “Humara dada to chale jate hain Bambai, kaam ke vastey – kaun karega kheti?” “Paani kahan hai ke kheti karoge?” The questions were pertinent; the answers seemed complicated. But with Balbina, even the most complicated issues would find easy solutions. Every effort of her was helping her fellow villagers collectivise for betterment of their lives, and Balbina was setting new standards of living for everyone.