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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ironing out some qustions..

recently a friend asked if  the dress sported was crumpled and if that shud be ironed!
asking me was surely a mistake..

I have stopped ironing clothes for more than 6 years now..energy was just one piddly reason..

But this friend got in to launching a tirade..asking me if i was being righteous..and what if one irons...one need not take such stance (on everything) and then added 'after all this is helping a livelihood for some one!'

this last one is used by many so frivolously for many things, i really cant take that..
hey..IMO any of these menial jobs is just not any favour..not helping them or enabling livelihood..
lets all think for a sec:
we outsource such jobs that are so menial and for the fact that just cant do it! like cleaning toilets, even cars,washing dishes or clothes, cleaning floor, driving for long distances or in city traffic, ironing clothes, etc

These persons who are doing it for us/on behalf of us are doing it for a piddly money we throw at them..not because its honourable! not bcos its liked by them!! not bcos its enabling any livelihood..
These people who come to do such menial jobs on our behalf come from some distant village and live in the city ghettos/slums and there is no dignity in that- either in the job or place they live!

so next time if we think we are 'enabling livelihoods' pl think hard..may be you are unnecessarily retaining one more fellow in the city by showing hims some carrot (few green backs) and letting him rot in a slum..so it is no livelihood..no life either..
its just cushioning our social responsibility..actually escapism argument!

coming back to ironing: Lemme first confess : I have for sure ironed - even my inner wears! But first the energy factor hit me..that was when i was slowly correcting all my ills..consumerism, waste generation, energy consumption, poison in my food and all those..
Why shud my dress have those creases and correct frills? for some one else out there!!
why shud i bother about what some one in that party or in the bus/train or office think about my crumpled shirt?
why is that more important than my presence or action or help in that place?

Have u ever thought about this? a man (or woman!) standing from morning to late night and ironing so many clothes bcos we all think we need to be presentable- for that other person who is jobless and 'seeing' if ur creases and frills are right!
I have spoken to many of these ironwalas from years..most of them drink! like all hard workers tell the same reason- that they cant sleep otherwise..But i can empathise..their body shud ache..imagine the heat generated - physically around them and inside the body..phew..and to see that many of them operate in street sides and in Madras summers!!

oh dear!! there is so much to it than the livelihood we all enable by giving a few bucks for ironing our clothes..

really sad scene..I know there are some things we just cant change easily..
but ironing of clothes?
its the easiest of all the outsourced menial jobs..
also if all of us do- non-ironed clothes become the norm isnt?

post script: From the time i visited sevagram the 1st time, I dont allow any one to clean my toilets. I do it myself. just to say its not just the easy ironing i stopped or the stupid plastics..

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