Amidst the complete erasure of street food, metro rides and our daily hustle to reach for classes on time, another thing which has not been completely vanished but has definitely got reduced, is people’s selective respectability, based on the social hierarchy.
The year 2020 with all its previous riots, social disorders and now COVID-19, revealed a bunch of realities. These realities apart from awakening some of our hidden talents have also pointed out towards some of the very serious flaws in our lifestyles as well as mindsets. One such major drawback which the lockdown period has made many of us figure is the judgment and treatment on the basis of one’s position in the social hierarchy.
India is known to have its roots in casteism and gender biasness. With the evolution in time and change in the structural management of the country, people have definitely changed but only in their public lives, their private lives are still governed by the primitive norms of discrimination. the aspect which has increased is not inclusion and liberality but hypocrisy and fineness. As time changed the sensitivity towards these issues did develop but yet due to the deep embedment of the exploitative policies in our minds we somewhere or the other tend to promote or act as per them.
One such manifestation is the consideration of the jobs of maids, house helpers, labourers and servants as trivial. The lockdown caused due to the advent of COVID-19 has made us realise their importance in our lives. At present when we see the dryness of our hands caused by washing utensils, or the scratches and cuts produced by mopping the floor, we intensely miss our ‘Shanta bais’. Their belongingness to a lower economic group than ours, or not sharing the same caste as us, doesn’t grant us the right to devalue their work and jobs. The quarantine season has made people realise the essentiality of their services thus, making them worthy of all the appreciation and respect.
Remember the times when the class division made you sniff your nose, when she entered to clean your room, or when you cribbed about switching off the fan when she swept the floor, now being in her shoes cleaning your house at your own has made people realise the worth of house helpers. By bringing the necessity to respect every person, irrespective of their caste, and every job irrespective of the salary given, under the limelight the quarantine period has contributed towards self-growth and development of a healthier prospective.
Another category of people who are often devalued is the housewives, or better called the homemakers. The variation between the two terms and the amount of effort which is needed to switch the former ‘house’ to the latter ‘home’ is made clear by the complete closure of outdoor activities. Seeing them chop vegetables with eyes full of brine, perceiving their pain of rejection, despite cooking in front the stove for hours amidst the summer heat, people have actually put their work under consideration and have begun supporting them in their every day, holiday and salary deprived jobs.
This newly woven fabric of Corona crisis, wherein people are together contributing to carrying out the household chores, or are remembering the work of their house labourers,
evokes a feeling of positivity and delight in between the negativity which encircles the world.
Feature Image Credits: Proeves