No Title
Anurag Dwary
JAMLO CHALTI GAYI by Samina Mishra Eklavya, 2022, 32 pp., 75.00
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Jamlo is walking even today. She is walking for a world that needs justice and equality.

Samina Mishra, Tariq Aziz, and Sushil Joshi who has woven the story in Hindi, haven’t just put down some words and lines and images. They have created a chronicle.

This book is a document that goes much ahead of the headlines about Jamlo on television or in the newspapers. This document presents a parallel–where there is a world of Jamlo, and a parallel world of Tara, Amir and Rahul. One is the virtual world of children surrounded by computers. The other is the real world of Jamlo carrying a bagful of dried red chillies home, longingly watching the dosas at a street-side food stall, feeding a dry red chilly to the parrot.

On 24th March 2020, the Prime Minister pronounced that Jamlo and her likes have four hours to tie up their beds and beddings and life’s belongings. The order was meant for Tara, Amir and Rahul too….but they could watch Jamlo’s world on TV. Jamlo only had the images of her village and her parents in her eyes…

It was a 200 kms long journey that Jamlo had embarked on with a bagful of dried red chillies. And she was carrying the hunger in her belly that had taken this 12-year old daughter of Chhattisgarh to the distant fields of Bijapur in Telangana to pluck chillies as a farm labourer.

When 12-year old Jamlo of Aaded village of Chhattisgarh joined a coffle of farm labourers walking back home, she had hoped that she would soon be able to reach home. The only daughter of her parents, Jamlo walked for four days on rough and rugged forest roads, but just a few kilometres from her village… a leaf turned pale and left the tree… Jamlo closed her eyes…

Turning the pages of Jamlo Chalti Gayi, you can ask yourself:

Why on earth did a 12-year old girl have to travel to another State so far from home to work?

Why did she have to work and earn at an age when she should have gone to school?

Did Jamlo die, or did this system kill her?

This book will not give you any answers. It will only shake you up and ask more questions. Hopefully, it will also encourage many more Jamlos, Taras, Amirs and Rahuls to ask these questions and seek the answers for themselves…