From the Editor’s Desk – Snippets of what The Blue Divide brought to you in April and May 2021
2 minutes read
The second wave of the pandemic took everyone by storm. Everyone one would speak to was suffering from the virus or coping with an irreplaceable loss. Social media took to substitute the failing health infrastructure – with requests, appeals of Remdesivir, Tociluzumab, oxygen concentrators- seemed like everyone registered their pronunciation and spellings.
The truth is, the health system has failed our citizens in the past, we realized what that really meant because it affected us- as people belonging to a certain socio economic strata- us being on the other side of the digital divide, us being able to access private hospitals. We’re cognizant of our privilege and are grateful that it allows for us to be able to support those in need. For all of us at The Blue Divide, this period has been tough. Keeping on priority our team’s well-being, we paused operations for a couple of weeks.
While our people centric workplaces gave many of their employees time offs/well-being breaks, I couldn’t help but question the dichotomy and feel guilty of my privilege- of having my domestic help take care of the house, of having the sanitation worker pick up our waste, of the construction workers outside of my building spending their Sunday (the only holiday) in a hot tin shed taking care of the chores- while I was able to isolate myself in my 3 BHK. This pandemic is strange- it requires one to be privileged enough to have a spacious home to curb its spread.
At The Blue Divide, being cognizant of World health Day on April 7, we focused on spreading awareness about the health challenges that come with being an informal sector worker in the various sectors women are predominantly in. We also explored the role we as individuals play in challenging the status quo, and reflecting on our actions, biases that translate in the working conditions of the women that work with us, for us. We shared with our followers how we could take small steps to ensure women around us are supported. Really, all it takes is being sensitive and considering the needs of our domestic help, sanitation worker or the didi that makes your clothes.
Zooming in a bit into health, we delved into the health concerns, taboos surrounding menstruation on World Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28th May. A natural phenomenon that affects not only cis-women, menstrual health and hygiene is a conversation that invites awkwardness, giggles and silence. Creating spaces for your domestic help to be able to even voice “Didi/Bhaiyya aaj ek din chutti chahiye, pet dukh raha hai” is a landmark step towards breaking the stigma and creating safe spaces. Change starts at home and we need allies to accelerate and support us with the process of change. Allies such as you.
Reflecting on the last two months, I cannot help but wonder, the double (no, triple) whammy of being a poor woman, with no formal health care to support you. Of being a victim of the systems that pay little heed to the health conditions and needs of women, often shadowed by virtue of working in the informal sector.
While we cannot overhaul the system, I think one thing that has stood out to me strongly is the power of the collective, the power of humanity- of compassionate, empathetic humans who offer support in these times. Resilient humans who save the pillars of homes and society from crumbling.
Take care readers!