This Rose chose to pluck the thorns from Jharkhand's oppressed women | india | Hindustan Times
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This Rose chose to pluck the thorns from Jharkhand's oppressed women

india Updated: Mar 07, 2014 22:38 IST
Saurav Roy
Saurav Roy
Hindustan Times
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A rose by any other name would have smelt just as sweet but she refused to be a flower in a vase.

Instead, Rose Kerketta chose to pluck the thorns from Jharkhand's oppressed women, give them the healing salve and encourage them to live with dignity.

Even at the ripe age of 74, Rose's job is not complete.

Kerketta is a writer, tribal rights activist and one of the founders of the Mahila Samakhya, a government undertaking that helps rehabilitate women subjected to oppression in society.

She has also worked for years to curb the menace of human trafficking which has emerged as one of the major problems in Jharkhand's hinterland.

Hailing from Ranchi, she still travels to rural areas of Jharkhand at least once a month to spread awareness among women and empower them.

The society, according to her, has changed drastically in the past 30 years. Sharing her experience from the past, she said that increase in crime against women has robbed rural women of their freedom.

"Women are not safe even in the villages anymore. When I was young, people were more sensitive about women and rapes rarely happened," she said.

Kerketta used to organise employment-related workshops for women in the rural areas.

However, she strongly feels that the employment schemes for rural women are not of their interest. Her experience has made her come to the conclusion that rural women in the state enjoy doing work that require physical strength and they get easily bored by creative works such as handicraft and handloom.

"All the schemes make the women either make toys or design clothes and ornaments, but very few people know that they only enjoy doing work that require physical strength," she said.

Interestingly, under Kerketta's supervision, women had erected a man-made dam in Chanho block of Ranchi 10 years back. "The dam still functions well and is an example of what women can do in Jharkhand," she said.

Poverty, however, seems to be the reason for all the problems of women in the state.

Right from human trafficking to lack of education and unemployment, "everything is related to poverty in this part of the country".

Kerketta didn't vote the last time as she couldn't find any candidate promising enough to solve the problems of women in Jharkhand.

Though she plans to vote this year, she is apprehensive about India having another government that would be "ignorant" about the plight of women, especially in rural areas of tribal states like Jharkhand.