Yesterday I purchased a bicycle to pedal my way to all the nearby villages, so that I can save money spent on conveyance all along. And today morning, for the first time after so many years, I pedalled my way to SALOD, a village that is situated 10 kms away from Wardha. The heat surely turned my hands in a well-tanned colour and by evening, it was hurting a little. However, when I was pedalling my way to the village, I felt nothing at all. In fact, I enjoyed my ride in an amazing way looking away the dried landscape of the surroundings, cattle resting in whatever little shade they got, ploughed fields and some farmers still working in hot sun.
As soon as I entered the village, I enquired in a shop about the two cases of suicide. Fortunately, I met brother of the deceased farmer Prakash Bhagwan Jhod, who had committed suicide in 2005 because of debt. The brother refused to talk to me and told there was no one at home, inspite of my request to share some information. I approached the next house of the deceased farmer Jivan Ramji Barade… the house was found lock. So I had no choice but to return back, when immediately I thought about the Gram Panchayat Office. A little boy in cycle was too happy to guide me to the office.
I was given water to drink and then I got to know of two more cases that had happened long time back in Salod village. From there, when I reached deceased farmer Bapuram Sitaram Bhosari’s house, it was locked too. The last one was the house of deceased farmer Prabhakar Ramrao Sagare’s house. Fortunately, the family was at home. I was welcomed, given water to drink, followed by orange squash and then a small box was handed to me. When I asked what was it, one of the daughters told me it was supari (beetlenut). I chewed on two small pieces and wondered that why such warm hospitality is missing in today’s urban life? Inspite of the poor lifestyle they lead, the villagers have a very big heart to welcome a guest, truly amazing and worth mentioning.
P R Sagare left behind three daughters and his widow wife in 2003, when he committed suicide at the age of 35 years because of debt. He was also suffering from high sugar level and since he couldn’t take the every day harassment of the loan sharks, he gave up on life. The eldest daughter have been married away and the younger ones are both doing their Diploma in Education from Deoli, in the hope to become teachers in coming years. The widow wife revealed that they had got married at a very young age of 16 or 17. She was talking to me in Marathi, which I could understand but since I cannot speak the language all that fluent, the youngest daughter Vaishali was translating to her mom. It is really heartening to see the pain in their eyes for missing the only important person in their lives. It has been seven years now and I can well imagine how the young daughters must have faced the situation to find one day, their father is no more.
Shefali, widow of P R Sagare and Vaishali
I told them that I am planning to involve all the widows to start making paper envelops and establish a small unit, which will help them earn some extra money. I gave them the samples and asked if they would be interested to be part of the team. I was really happy because the daughters along with the mother gave their ‘yes’ to me. So here I am, we are all set now to start making these envelops to save the environment in our own small ways while the widows of Vidarbha will start earning some money to support their families in a small way. The ride back home was very amazing because now we have the first member of our small unit! And when I came back home, I got my TENTH ANGEL also… truly a good day indeed!