The creed of politicians is unique. The politicians and their ‘chamchas’ or the coterie of followers are unique. Be the politician of any party. While working with a social ngo, i had brush off with this creed more often than not. And everytime, the hate for these particular band increased persistently.
It was a hot afternoon, by the standard of November. My friend had arranged an event at neighboring station Diva. He informed me that there is a ngo led by a ‘social worker’ who genuinely wants good of his people and so he wants to arrange a campaign for women on Self Help Group (SHG) movement, so that these women can come together form SHG and start some kind of business activity and find sustainable source of income. The objective for which we were engaged in this ngo since list many years. I immediately said ok, i asked him to ensure that the ngo does not belongs to any political party, for we avoid working with these short sighted creed with myopic vision.
Now Diva as people from Mumbai and nearby area may be aware is now a buzzing town. Thanks to rampant illegal construction, with the authorities not showing any guts or willpower to reform, the city which once was known for some not so good reasons is now grown exponentially. Local people owning agricultural land built buildings and the city was built. With increase in population their leaders, some appointed, some self proclaimed ones rose to fame. Leaders need followers, so the coterie around them grew. The more the crowd around them, the more popular the leader is.
We reached Diva and I was escorted to the bungalow of this ‘social worker’. The same lines were again repeated. The leader thankfully seemed to be a good man, a man of little words, but his coterie was hyperactive they spoke too much. The said they wanted to motivate the ladies to form groups and they get engaged in some economic activity. I was impressed, but still somewhere i had doubt. Does a selfless ‘social worker’ exists in this age?
We reached the place where around 200 women were waiting for us. With formal introduction, the programme commenced. I gave presentation on the self help group movement, i explained to them how to form on SHG, how to manage one, how to do business independently. The more i spoke, the more the team of the organizer grew edgy, they feared.
Almost unprovoked they brought tea and requested me break for the tea. I was into 45 minutes of my presentation by then. I was surprised. They then requested me to join for the tea in the adjoining room. My suspicion was growing real. The lady who was leading the team was now very frank. The lady from rural background, in no uncertain terms said that they wished that the ladies should form groups, come together, but she should be their leader, she said we are representing a political party, and we require ladies for our morcha (gatherings) and rallies. We are not concerned about what they earn but we want the ladies under our control. I was literally laughing and they were surely not amused.
We went back to the auditorium, i continued with my presentation and ended after half an hour. I did not ask the ladies to come under the control of this lady for sure. Their faces were like having axed their own leg. The women assembled there were motivated, but, the goal of this politician had failed. We exchanged pleasantries and departed. I was laughing all the way, my friend was shocked.
The movement of SHG is widespread in our country. In Maharashtra itself more than 10 million people are engaged in this movement. If the movement is properly implemented in its true spirit. The country would benefit like no other programme. But, unfortunately, the political establishment has ruined he entire movement for their petty political objective. We have in the past worked with politicians of all hues and shades from a local corporators to people whom we recognize as national leaders. The entire breed of all political parties behaves like having come up from a same mold.
One more reason to hate the politicians i earned that Sunday.