Pedalling her way to gender equality!

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Determined:Bharati Tripathy setting out on her daily round in Berhampur on Tuesday.
Determined:Bharati Tripathy setting out on her daily round in Berhampur on Tuesday.

Sib Kumar Das

Working as ‘postman' for Hill Patna post-office of Berhampur, Bharati Tripathy goes about distributing letters on a cycle.

BERHAMPUR: With the help of the ‘India Post' Bharati Tripathy has made a small but exemplary effort towards gender equality.

She now works as a ‘postman' for the post office in Hill Patna area of the city. People of the area were initially shocked when they found a woman coming over to distribute letters in their area. But for Bharati this is nothing new.

She knows there is no feminine word for her profession yet since past 15 years she has been engaged in this work. She had worked as ‘Gramin Dak Sevak (GDS)' for four villages on the outskirts of the city since 1995. Recently she has been deputed to this city post office for six months. Postal authorities said she was getting noticed as there were very few female ‘postmen' in Orissa.

The 34-year-old mother of two schoolgoing sons has no grumble regarding her tiring profession as a ‘postman' which many say is not suitable for women. She had to take up contract job of GDS for her family when her elder brother who worked in postal department died.

She was the youngest among her five sisters. She says the mindset towards a working woman that too those who take up typical male-oriented jobs has changed in recent times. During nineties the inhabitants of Rangipur, Ralaba, Dhobapalli and B.Nuagaon could not swallow it that a woman was distributing letters in their area. She faced comments and complaints. But women of the village especially the elderly came to her rescue. She says now she has become a daughter of all households in these four villages.

Till one month ago she was cycling more than 15 km every day to distribute letters in these four villages. She was daring scorching summer and torrential rain. She says her in-laws and husband Loknath Tripathy have been encouraging due to which she could pursue this career for the economic uplift of her family.

Her day starts at 4 am at her house in Panigrahipentha area. She has to cook food for the family, prepare children for school before setting out on her job. She returns home at around 5 pm after a tiring day.

After rest of 15 minutes she returns to her household chores. Although she could not continue education after Matriculation, she takes time off to act as tutor for her children during evenings.



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