44(2) - Intermezzo: Parmila Parmila is an Indian widow in...

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Intermezzo: Parmila Parmila is an Indian widow in her early thirties. Her husband passed away last year after a prolonged illness, leaving her to fend for her seven- year-old son and three-year-old daughter. The land that her husband once owned had to be sold of to raise money for his expensive treatment. Today Parmila is left with no land and finds it extremely diflcult to make ends meet. Parmila comes from a well-offamily in Khairplan village of Singhbhum district, but destitution has forced her to take up menial work despite her lineage. She earns her living by selling firewood, dehusking rice grains, and working as a daily laborer for local contractors. She collects wood from the nearby forests and dries it, then twice a week walks 8 kilometers to sell the wood at Jamshedpur market. She finds employment on farms in the months of Agrahayan and Poush (from mid-November to mid- January) dehusking rice. She dehusks 36 kilograms of rice a day working for nine hours; one-twelfth of her daily
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