Fine of 20 rupees

 Its 10:20 AM – SURA women are busy setting up the tailoring center for the day… Sandhya walks in, 5 minutes late. there is a momentary silence.. unsure glances… just the previous week, the team had decided that all latecomers pay a fine of Rs.20 – if they came in post 10:15 AM…

” en kitta 20 roobai illeye!” (I don’t even have 20 rupees ) mumbles Sandhya… stands at the door for a while.. walks into the village.. comes back with a bunch of coins..”I have managed to get 15 rupees- when my husband is home this evening, I will pay up the rest”… I give her the additional 5 rupees. The fine is paid and work begins… In 40 minutes, this pouch is stitched – technically, she has earned more than her fine but a convoluted economic system fails to put this cash in the hands of a creative and hard-working mother… The day goes on, the stitching continues and the next morning, Sandhya greets me with her usual smile; silently puts a 5 rupee coin in my hand, at 10 AM sharp ||

Sandhya – means dusk… and here’s is our Sandhya, much like the evening- that’s soaked in the burdens of the day and is a promise of the calm night to come… Mother of 2, striving hard to financially support her family through SURA: Kanavu Women’s Wing … 

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