In order to live in this world, education is of utmost importance, not only that, but we also need to know the laws and regulations otherwise without proper knowledge, many a times we become victims of oppression and this we can certify through the experiences of a few women who are employed as cooks of mid-day meals for school students including those from West Khasi Hills District and Eastern West Khasi Hills District who spoke about the different difficulties they have had to face in their respective workplace.
Speaking with a news reporter, one of them said that she was sent to fetch water for cooking and as a woman, she found it difficult to do so because the water source is very far and if she has to ask someone to help her with that she has to pay for the helper which is difficult since she is paid only Rs.1000 per month. Another said that it really affects her time because the moment the meal is cooked, she has to serve the teachers first and after she is done with that, she then serves the students and not only that, she also has to wash the plates after everyone has eaten, which makes her question if she is paid to cook for the students or to serve the teachers when there are upto 5-6 in number. Another questioned the reporter if it is a practice that she as a cook should have to teach the students as well just because I was not cooking, and another who is the President of the Association of Mid-day Meals Workers from another district said that she has many friends working in this capacity inany rural areas who express similar kind of woes because they are sent to collect fire wood to cook for the students making it difficult for them to handle every task when the pay is so low.
All of these experiences were shared by the women who attended the meeting yesterday held at Free Morning School, Nongstoiñ.
It may be pointed that a majority of the women employed as cooks have not had much education and if they have to teach the students then what will happen to the future of the students.