COVID-19 has brought the entire world to a standstill. Despite being proud members of the 21st century with remarkable technology and abundant infrastructure, it took a mere virus to humble us. It has revealed to us the cracks in our system by causing a sudden disruption in the way of life across the entire world. It has shown us the most vulnerable sections of our society and presented us with a unique opportunity to strengthen these faults.
Our laborers and local artisans have been hit the hardest during these unfortunate times. They have lost their primary source of income that fed them. For most of us, such a situation is unimaginable. While their economic and financial burdens are now in the public eye, we cannot even begin comprehending the social battles they are fighting.
In many rural areas, the custom is for the men of the house to be the bread-earners of the family while the women are assigned to act as the bread-makers. Urban-rural migration had led to a change in the domestic atmospheres back in the villages. However, with the implementation of the COVID lockdown, rural families might find themselves living in the same household again—something they haven’t been accustomed to in years.
Overcrowding in households, increased familial pressure, and rising rates of domestic violence are but small issues that can be overlooked in such a situation of crisis. Their lack of awareness about the coronavirus itself is another adversary to be tackled. Our female colleagues from Muzzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh bear witness to the same difficulties daily.
For most of us, staying home means half the battle is already won, but for them home in itself presents other battles. Despite these trying times, these inspiring women continuously remind us that life is always about the boss stories and not the sob ones. They have adapted and overcome this significant feat, too, with their positive attitudes and undefeatable determination. Our weavers work tirelessly to provide the most excellent products from the safety of their homes while also managing the household and everyone in it. Now, this is what we call a real boss! These are the women who have taught us that even though the near future might be scary, we can learn to draw upon each other’s strengths to fight this together. They are the ones who have taught us the true meaning of gratitude amidst a global pandemic.