Himalayan VOICES High Himalaya FORUM Himalayan Heritage  
Name: Mekhala Marpheu
Occupation: Farmer
Location: Arunachal Pradesh, India
Q. You are a member of a women’s SHG. What are the benefits of group work?
We have a women’s society here, which is involved in organizing a lot of things. If there is a VIP visiting our area we organize that, we help each other around in times of need. We also resolve disputes between married couples, by arranging meetings. We work together in the field and deposit the earnings in the bank. We also knit and weave our traditional wear. This is how we run our society.
Q. What are your views on status of women?
I think, to be born as a woman is the greatest thing because a woman gives birth, takes care of her children, is in charge of her home and at the same time in today’s society women get a lot of respect. Today, a woman is more successful than a man in whatever she does. Times have changed a lot. Earlier women always took the backseat, it was always the men who took charge but now it is not so anymore.
Q. Are you happy and satisfied with the facilities available in the village?
For medical facilities, it is more or less fine because there is one doctor and one health assistant, which is sufficient for a small village like ours. In education, there is the problem of shortage of teachers, specially mathematics teachers because of which students cannot take up science in higher classes. Students who take up arts find it hard to secure a job nowadays. These are some of the problems otherwise everything else is fine.
Q. Is there a higher secondary school in your village?
There is a Middle school here.
Q. Where do the students go for higher studies?
They go to Bomdila.
Q. Have you seen any changes in the past 10 to 15 years in your village? Has there been any development?
There has been a lot of development, done by the government. Earlier there were no latrines in the village although even small houses should have latrines. The villagers are now aware of the importance of cleanliness, the spread of diseases and so on. So there has been a lot of change and development. There has been development in field of agriculture. Earlier farming was on a small scale, like kitchen gardens for personal consumption, especially maize. But now it is more business oriented.
Q. Do you have any dreams?
Dreams, yes I have some dreams. First of all I want my child to have a bright future. Then for my village, those below the poverty line to come forward and prosper.
Q. What do you want for your child?
I would not really want my child to get into farming. I would rather he secures a government job with a good salary.
Name: Rinchen Tsering
Location: Arunachal Pradesh
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Name: Tashi Tsering
Location: Arunachal Pradesh, India
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