Durga Bai, Healthworker
‘I can never sit still, I always wanted to see new places, do new things, and learn new skills. So many of us are restless, especially women because we are enclosed in boundaries. When a woman goes to school these boundaries begin to fade. Education helps you build the world you want to live in.’
Durga Bai is a health worker with Aarth in the tribal belt of Udaipur District, Rajasthan. Durga travels by herself, by bus, to 22 villages every month, Durga talks to 2,000 women about how to improve their health and the health of their children.
Durga’s days are long and she walks many kilometers, she carries her black back strung across her forehead.
In the villages Durga visits, women are not educated and many girls do not go to school. Durga explains health concepts in local dialects, simply, ensuring that as many children as she meets are vaccinated, visit medical centers and go to school.
When Durga was young, she did not go to school, but she heard that lunch was free at school, so one day she enrolled herself in school and stayed there until she was married at the age of 13.
Durga is upset that she did not finish her education and she makes sure that her daughter and son go to school everyday.
Durga’s husband Kalu Ram is a truck driver and what Durga tells women in villages, he tells his truck driving friends. Durga is 27 years old.