mg world vision: A Siddi Woman Hirabai Lobi Prospered The Lives Of Many People|| A Sublime Example Of Women Empowerment||

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

A Siddi Woman Hirabai Lobi Prospered The Lives Of Many People|| A Sublime Example Of Women Empowerment||

The radio turned out to be the means of education to Hirbai-which impacted the lives of thousands of illiterate villagers.
The radio turned out to be the means of education to Hirbai
which impacted the lives of thousands of illiterate villagers.

The dwelling of Sidi community in India:

    The Siddi, a race of African descent, inhabits many cities and villages in India. They are a hardworking community. Siddi people like to dance and sing. Their distinctive dance, known as DHAMAAL, and song reflect the glimpses of the culture of their native country, Africa. From about the sixth to the sixteenth century, the Arabs traded with India. They brought with them Africans as laborers (slaves) for shipping and other labor. Afterward, the British and the Portuguese also used to enslave them. Many Siddhi families settled down in India.

Hiraben Bai Ibrahim Lobi, a Sidi woman from Jamboor Village:

    This post is about the story of Hirabaiben Lobi, a Siddi woman from Jambur village in Junagadh district of Gujarat state, India, who, with her sheer intelligence, made a revolution in her own life and that of the villagers. She has presented a unique example of women empowerment and self-development to the world and remains a source of inspiration for many women.

The life-Style of the people of Jamboor Village:

    Jambur village, located about 100 km from Junagadh, is known as an African village as it is home to about 18000 Sidi people. However, most of the villagers were illiterate. So they were doing the job as labor on the farm, and some sell forest products for their leaving. The women of the community bring firewood from the forest to sell. Most of the people at Jambur village have the ruining habits of liquor and tobacco.

NOTE: Courtsey - All images from the BBC News -Gujarati (See video at the end of the post)

A story of Hirabai Lobi:

    Hirabai was born and brought up in this community. At the age of 4, her mother passed away, and at the age of 14, her father also died. Like other members of their community, Hirbai also could not get a formal education. She grew up near her grandmother and implemented many things taught by her in life. These lessons from her granny impacted not just her life but the lives of the people of 19 villages.
She was a hardworking woman and was troubled by the plight of herself and her community and often thought to find a solution. When Hiraben grew up, her grandmother married her to Ibrahim Lobi. Fortunately, her husband Ibrahim Lobi was supportive. He was also a hardworking person and had no bad habits.

The ambition of Hirabai:

An exam[le of women empowerment-Sidi Woman Hirabai Ibrahim Lobi.
An example of
women empowerment
Hirabai Ben Lobi.

    She was trying a lot for the upliftment of her family. Father of Hirabai had a loan of one lakh rupees, for which she told to sell land, which her father had given her. Anyhow, she did not want to sell land, so she decided to face the situation.

How the radio program turned out to be a guide for Hirabai:

    Hiraben used to listen to the radio for programs about agriculture on the national channel. Incidentally, one day, on the radio, they heard about the preparation project of organic fertilizer, which needs just a portion of land. Hiraben and her husband started thinking seriously about this project.

Research and training for the dream project:

    They understood that if they implemented this project successfully on their half an acre of land, they might have enough money to pay the debt and save the land. After doing more research, after getting some training, one day, they started his work.

Starting and development of the venture:

    Initially, in the first year, they produced about 160 bags of fertilizer though not much profit. But next year, the production increased to 500 bags, and nine women had joined to help them. Gradually due to the better quality and reasonable rate of organic fertilizer, the demand increased, and their venture flourished. Hirabai got the women of the nearby 19 villages to join with her. Created 12 groups of them and started to produce the fertilizer in huge quantities. She also commenced producing other products, like neem oil, mangoes, orchids, coconuts, sugarcane, and vegetables. Need not to say the debt was over.
Now the selling of organic fertilizer touched
the figure of 7 00,000/- rupees per year.

Building of the primary school at Jambur village.
Building of the primary school at Jambur village.

The activities of Hirabai on the social front:

    Due to Hirabai's vision, training, and hard work, she became free from debt. But Hirabai did not stop there. Since childhood, she used to feel very sad to see the plight of the people of his village. She always thinks, what she could do for the upliftment of her community. After becoming financially strong, she started such a campaign of social reform that she received many honors and awards from the country and abroad.

The list of Social welfare activities by Hirabai:

  • Many villagers had habits like consuming liquors, smoking, tobacco chewing, and getting ruined health and money.
  • Hiraben explained to them to get rid of such habits. As a result, they got a drastic improvement in their health and saving money.
  • With due guidance of Hiraben, some Sidi people started shops, and some of them learned to tailor and started their venture.
  • People were careless about the education of their kids. Hirabai encouraged them to send their kids to 'Anganwadi' (Type of school as a nursery) operated by the Government.
  • Hiraben explained to the women of her community about the benefits of saving money and helped them to open savings bank accounts.
  • She established an organization for the women of her and other villages and started to create a fund by collecting 10 rupees per person.
  • People in her community were unaware of many schemes launched by the Government for the house, health, and education. She made them aware of that and helped them to get the benefit of it.
  • Due to the illiteracy, people were dependant on the agents to apply for such scheme, for that agents were charging heavily, looting them.
  • Hiraben bypassed the agents and guided people to do paperwork with the Government by themself.
  • The villagers were fearful of the police officers. Hirabai told them that the police are not the alien from another planet. They are the human-like us- and are the servant of the public. The fear of the police officer had gone overcome by the villagers. They dared to go outside the village to governmental offices for their task without depending on the agents. Thus their confidence level has enhanced.
  • Hiraben successfully did correspondence with Government to start primary school in the Jambur village. She got to start school.
  • As a result, the standard of living of the villagers uplifted, especially of women who got freedom from gathering firewood from the jungle, and today, they have good ventilated homes with facilities like LPG gas connection under Ujjawal Gas Yojana and electricity.
The struggle of the Hirabaiben, a determined woman
brought the happiness in the lives of Siddi people!

Hirabai Ben Lobi receiving 14th IMC Ladies Wing Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar- 2006 from Jaya Bachchan and Munira Chudasama President IMC Ladies Wing.
Hirabai Ben Lobi receiving 14th IMC Ladies Wing Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar- 2006
from Jaya Bachchan and Munira Chudasama President IMC Ladies Wing.

The list of the awards received by Hirabaiben Ibrahim Lobi:

    Revolutionary social activities of Hirabaiben fetched the following awards from India and abroad.

A video of an interview with Hirabai Ben Ibrahim Lodi
at Jamboor Village by BBC News Channel in Gujarati.

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