Coping with domestic, professional and public duties

Multitasking is second nature to modern-day career women, many of whom juggle their domestic and professional lives with admirable ease.

With the 50 per cent reservation for women introduced in local bodies, quite a good number of professional women, including lawyers, teachers and doctors, are making their entry into the public sphere with the local body elections, adding a whole new dimension of responsibilities to their life.

Considering the demanding and omnipresent nature of a local body member's job, how will this new brigade of women representatives fulfil their responsibilities at the home, office and public fronts?

Homeopathy doctor and LDF candidate from Vanchiyoor P.S. Chandrakala says that her profession will not come in the way of her public life. “I love my profession and I know that it provides relief to a lot of people,'' she said.

“Although this is the first time that I am entering politics I have been active as a social worker throughout my career. Now that my children have also grown up I am pretty confident that I can take along all my responsibilities hand in hand,'' Dr. Chandrakala said.

Mother of two and a practising lawyer at the Vanchiyoor court, Mullur ward LDF candidate Kavitha V.S believes that as long as these responsibilities are not regarded as burdens, the juggling act can be done pretty smoothly.

“I think that only if you consider your responsibilities as a burden will it become a problem. There have been many great women ahead of me who have held bigger offices and undertook bigger responsibilities. They will be my inspiration,'' she said.

Second-timer V.S. Bindu, who is contesting as the UDF candidate from Chellamangalam ward, is also confident of juggling her duties. She first stood and won the elections from Kariyam in 2000 while still studying for LLB.

“After my term my husband contested and won the elections. Now, when I am contesting again, I am confident of taking along my work. My son is now seven years old, so he can cope better,'' she said.

While most candidates are confident of taking along their domestic, professional and public duties, some others, like UDF candidate from Nandancode ward Leelamma Isaac, have decided to give a break to their careers to fulfil the duties of a responsible public office.

Ms. Issac, who is a music teacher at St. Mary's Higher Secondary School in the city, says that if elected, she will be taking a long leave to devote more time for her ward.

“Although I have been active in politics since my college days, I could not contest for elections because of my job as a teacher. However, now, with just two years to retire from service, I have decided to take long leave and work for my ward,'' said the Congress candidate.

BJP candidate from Pappanamcode ward R. Indira Kumari, also a Homeopathic doctor and lecturer at a private medical college in Tamil Nadu, says that if she finds it difficult to manage, she also might consider putting aside her career for serving the people.

“I do have private practice at home. But if I win and find it difficult to carry out my responsibilities as a councillor, I will consider taking leave from my college work,'' she said.