This is one great story of roads that have been laid in rural areas of Rajouri and Budhal where what will happen to it is anybody’s guess!
-‘Everything is within your power, and your power is within you.’ No need of proving it time and again!
-‘To be honest they (roads) are ill planned, badly laid and cannot sustain even one land slide because one side is a louse mountainous feature and on the other a scary down slope gorge. One sudden rain seasonal or unseasonal, any portion can be washed off with a sudden slide of rocks and soil leaving behind an extensive streak of damage that probably was not thought of when the whole thing was planned. What remains is mud, slush and the debris which has rock and boulders. This is not an uncommon sight here in the aftermath of the rain!’
-‘The unwritten rule and law here is that if you want to travel on this road, first check out on weather, then the intensity of the rain and thereafter decide to get on to the wheel of your private vehicle or otherwise be prepared to face the hazards as the car parked on the road and three ladies are doing in dainty dresses with shovels to clear of the debris with their small hands not used to do a job like this with their feet deeply dug in the slush gathered. The same can be seen in the picture that has been attached with the story’!
-‘Had the German musical group Kraftwerk in eighties recording their song ‘Model’ then this would have been an ultimate video with all the ingredients of getting viral, ‘they are the models and they are looking good, men do not like to work here is understood, they play hard to clear the roads, they smile from time to time, It only takes a camera to change the frame, they are going to clear the road and that is for sure, they would be home by the night and playing their games in the kitchen, they also know that they can do any job where the men do not like to play and sway and that is by clearing the roads for their way……..’ Sorry I did tamper with the lyrics so that the message in the picture could be delivered’!
-‘Someone had to be there from the department with the work force but he wasn’t, probably it has to be the PWD and the R&B but none was and therefore perhaps these ladies decided that why not do it themselves and yes they did. But whoever was clicking the picture, has to be a hunter in search of some exciting, interesting and unforgettable human stories. This will just be more added to my collection. I thought it was one of the stories from the past but it wasn’t. It just happened a few days back when the heavens exploded over the skies in the beautiful vale of Budhal surrounded by lovely but at times ungrateful Pir Panjals.’
-‘Road from Khawas to Keri Bella collapsed a few days back. The local women got their act together and removed the dirt from the road and the same was restored for traffic. But where were the men? Could not have been hibernating as the traffic stood silent and mum as these ladies got the things back to shape!’
Suddenly I would not have caught on to this story but I have seen ladies working as laborers with their men in a joint venture to get their households running. Most of them are in the construction business as laborers. If the strength of the two are I mean the male and the female it is similar. Men may be having more muscle power but the women have the grit and determination. Men may finish a job early but the women have their own way of running things but be rest assured that they will not leave the job half finished. Civilization’s history is a testimony to this fact!
One story comes to my mind which I did hear once upon a time and it was of women in Bhuj and they did the impossible. Pakistani Sabres attacked at night and over 14 napalm bombs were dropped on the IAF airstrip in Bhuj. The strip was heavily damaged and that meant our planes were not able to take off. This was a huge disadvantage as another attack was imminent. IAF decided to take the help of the BSF to rebuild the airstrip, but time was of the essence and there were not enough laborers. That was when 300 villagers, most of them women, from Madhapur in Bhuj opted to do it. With nothing but patriotism, they decided to get the job done. And they did it, inside 72 hours. The Indian Air force thereafter dominated the skies and Saber were nowhere to be seen. That was war but this was an incident. I’m sure had it been an emergency many more from the villages in Budhal would have joined in. Rajouri and Budhal are known for their patriotism and these women are no less because they are the ones who produce fighters of immense strength! They have done it! Past eras are replete with examples and tomorrow who knows because most of us would not be there to see them and write about them.
If I have read the literature available in history books then Budhal is a great place where women who did spectacular deeds were born. It seems that it is a forgotten chapter in the Jammu and Kashmir history but it is not. Had it been not the case the Indian Army would not have come here and parked themselves here. They wanted to shape the generations to come and they have done that. During the conflicts of the past as far as the history of the place goes what was placed before them was difficult but they (woman) not only gained the gratitude of many in their own generation but they proved, for the first time on the Jammu and Kashmir scale, the enormous value of a woman’s contribution, paving the way for future generations of women to do the same. These ladies in the picture are trying to tell the same story.
The modern times have created a new generation of female heroes. Where could these women look for role models? The women of the previous times have by this time been largely forgotten. But they are the ones who have created the modern day Budhal but they need help? As far as of now other than the Indian Army they see nothing of that sort coming. If road connectivity is a must then why not work on this? If today these ladies are working tomorrow their children would be! It is DC Rajouri who has to get into action because this one definitely revolves around ladies who were with shovels in the slush to get the road in order!
Once again I will fall back to the story of 9 September 1971, I did read that a lady recalled how, on the same date, when they were alerted about the bombings on Bhuj air strip, not once did the women think about their safety or their families before boarding the army vehicle, and travelling to the airstrip to repair it. She did say we were 300 women who left our homes to help the Air Force, determined to ensure the pilots fly again from here. If we were to die, it would have been an honourable death she mentioned with a smile! Those courageous three hundred could not be forgotten but at least respect these three!