Ingrained with Grain Fear
They say now the World is a different place, is it so? I wonder. Nevertheless, humankind has reached a zenith of technological advances, from a remote controlled Robot to the hybrid rice on my lunch plate. But sufferings are also getting new identities in this new millennium, Climate change, Food Security are some of the emerging problems.
Grown and brought up in the eastern world, enculturation of certain values and norms is quite normal to me. It’s a bad omen in my culture to leave food on one’s plate, and you must finish up, no leftovers! I am bound to this vow every single day and make sure I don’t leave any mess on my plate. But one fine morning I didn’t feel like eating and I’d had to break my kitchen rules, and for which, my mother told me, “Luna, this is not good, when you waste one grain of rice, you’ll have to pay for it someday. Think about the poor who don’t have anything to eat. We can save grains for them” The last remark about the hungry people was something distracting to me.
Living an urban life doesn’t certainly enlighten me the real life situation in the rural areas, those living in geographically inaccessible parts of my country. There is a chronic food scarcity in the mid and far western parts of Nepal I’d read somewhere. I goggled in the internet to get a glimpse of the severity of food scarcity.
When I get paranoid about Food Safety and hygiene at my home, my poor folks at those famine driven districts prioritize Food Security, understandable no food so no question of safety. I realized my mistake throwing food in the trash. Had it been made available to any of those empty tummies, it would have been a blessing.
Jajarkot, Achham and Dailekh are the major districts worst affected by food shortage. I went through a piece of news where a local woman from Jajarkot shared her biggest fear of how and what to feed her children each day. There’s no guarantee that her little ones would get fed at least twice a day, here she didn’t care about herself because she is a mother, just a voiceless woman.
I tried to trace the events these women go through, in general. With no education and no proper guidance these women get married at a very early age, produce many children and lead a very crude life. There’s a growing trend of males of these districts migrating to the neighboring India in search of livelihood. As a result of which these women are, literally, in a state of nowhere. From morning till midnight they have to play different roles from a doting father to a loving mother.
Though I’ve not yet reached these hunger driven places of Nepal, I’ve tried to envision those Voiceless women. They have to stay with what they get as an aid from donors or government subsidized commodities. The amount of food grains is not enough to feed many hungry mouths back at home. It’s a real life situation of many of Nepalese women residing in famine zones. What a pity!
For these women, all these sufferings are part of their fate, A Bad Star, indeed. They speak neither human rights agendas nor protest for their rights as a citizen as their horizon is sandwiched between family and children. None of these women knows when their plight for food will come to an end. It seems a tall order for them because they lack a voice in unison to be heard by the state and the authorities concerned. As a Narrator of the Crisis, I’ve tried to throw some light on these women’s ingrained fear for GRAIN.