The Burden of Literacy

For banks, “Illiterate” means a person who puts her thumb impression on papers. A “literate” is someone who can sign.
An Illiterate person cannot be given some facilities as compared to literates, for ex, a cheque book. Their savings accounts are also restricted in terms of withdrawl limits and such.

In the name of literacy, many women are forced to learn how to sign their names. They manage how to draw a shaking, barely legible, strenuous “Leela”, “Meena”, “Guddi” or “Beni”. That’s it. Technically, mandate is theirs, but the accounts are in reality handled by husbands, sons, zamindars(yep, feudalism still exists in your nearest rural space) etc. The subsidies, the loans, the transactions, the investments, so on and so forth.They are afraid that “peace and unity” in family would be affected if they were to oppose. Now you have Financial Inclusion on papers! The numbers are tremendously increasing, all Govt schemes perfectly implemented, acc to statistics hundreds of women making their own financial decisions. Untill one day, one woman dares to speak up. A whimper escapes her lips and she manages to whisper that the signature is forced. If she refuses, the signature will be forged.

It’s almost like illiteracy was their safety net amongst uneducated literates. I am not suggesting that people don’t learn to read and write, but that the educated take a lot for granted. The educated turn a blind eye to many injustices daily. That, in my opinion, is a bigger misfortune than illiteracy. That’s how our world is supposed to be, I guess, always leaving room for something to fight.

How many more decades of forced mandate before we finally value consent? How many more dark years of convenient lying before we finally see the blinding light of truth?

समर शेष है, नहीं पाप का भागी केवल व्याध
जो तटस्थ हैं, समय लिखेगा उनके भी अपराध

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