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Computer and the Buffalo: Globalization and Rural Women in Gujarat. Shyam Sunder Globalization: Focus on South Asia July 15, 2005. Summary. See a 15 minute DVD of SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association) An overview of field interviews with SEWA women Comments and discussion

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Computer and the buffalo globalization and rural women in gujarat

Computer and the Buffalo: Globalization and Rural Women in Gujarat

Shyam Sunder

Globalization: Focus on South Asia

July 15, 2005

Summary Gujarat

  • See a 15 minute DVD of SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association)

  • An overview of field interviews with SEWA women

  • Comments and discussion

  • Perspectives of globalization in South Asia (time permitting)

Shyam Sunder

Nepal Gujarat

Shyam Sunder

Bangladesh Gujarat

Shyam Sunder

India Gujarat

Shyam Sunder

India Gujarat

Shyam Sunder

India Gujarat

Shyam Sunder

Field interviews with sewa women a sample

Field Interviews with SEWA Women (a sample) Gujarat

Jessica Heyman, Yale College

Name jashodaben chotabhai
Name Gujarat: Jashodaben Chotabhai

  • Caste: Bankar

  • Age: 40

  • Place: Buchasan

  • Education: Illiterate

  • Family: 2 daughters (18: nurse; 17: 10th fail), 1 son (13: in school); husband: deceased

  • SEWA: 3 years; weaving

  • ICT: Nothing

  • I know nothing. I am illiterate, I can do nothing. My kids will not teach me. I asked my kids to teach me, and they refused to. But they say, “I have no time,” or “I am too tired,” or “I don’t feel like it.” They tell me that I can’t learn, that I am too old. If I told my son to get out of my house, he’d tell me to get out of his house. His circle of friends is all like that. I didn’t concentrate on my kids properly when they were little, I just let them go out and do as they wanted. I didn’t care for him, now he doesn’t care for me.

Shyam Sunder

Name manjulaben rameshbhai
Name Gujarat: Manjulaben Rameshbhai

  • Caste: Gajjar

  • Age: 51

  • Place: Ahmedabad

  • Education: 10th pass

  • Family: 2 daughters (30: BA, housewife; 27: 12th pass, housewife), 1 son (25: 10th fail, unemployed); husband: clerk at a university in the city

  • SEWA: 14 years; forest campaign Spearhead Team Leader

  • ICT: Computer, mobile, TV, VCR, audio tape, calculator

  • In my caste, when you get married you stop your education, and you should be less educated than your husband.

  • Computer: I was scared at first to have a computer on the table in front of me. When I first began to learn, I was always stressed, because there is this device, and I know how the important it is, and I can’t use it. My ignorance was stressful. And now, after completing this training, I can prepare my daily reports on computers. To learn computers you need proper time management, at least 2-3 hours a day. And that is only possible if I learn it sincerely and with full concentration.

  • I think computers are a kind of treasure. The world has had this treasure for many years, but for some reason, we have not been able to utilize that. Today, I am able to utilize that treasure and I can do any miracle.

  • Now, we will keep all our forest information database on computers, and find them easily. No one else in my activity knows computers.

  • Calculator: 2-3 hours/day. Saves incalculable amounts of time. I have to calculate how many tree arein stock, etc.

  • TV: I watch local and national news, songs, daily.

  • Mobile: 5-6 times/day, for SEWA and to call home.

Shyam Sunder

Name rameelaben rajubhai
Name Gujarat: Rameelaben Rajubhai

  • Caste: Parmar

  • Age: 30

  • Place: Chikhodra

  • Education: FYBA fail

  • Family: 1 daughter (7), 2 sons (6, 2); husband an accountant at a private bank

  • SEWA: not a member

  • ICT: phone, calculator

  • Computer: I want to learn computer but can’t because of family problems. I have household work, and the children to look after, they have school and need three meals a day, and I just can’t manage it, I get too tired. But I will take classes when they’re offered here. When my kids are grown up, I want to work in a company on a computer. Only one person in my family is earning, and 8 are eating: me and my husband, my kids, my mother-in-law and father-in-law, and my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law can’t find work, and is totally illiterate, so can’t learn computers. Ands he doesn’t want to learn: he just wants to sit on the bed and order others around. Here, we’re very poor. We don’t have much money to eat. So how can I go to school? It’s the same with my brother-in-law: when he was young, he worked as a tobacco farmer and gave the money to his little brother so my husband could go to school. Because he worked when he was young, now he’s 40 and lazy and fat.

Shyam Sunder

Name shantaben hirabhai
Name Gujarat: Shantaben Hirabhai

  • Caste: Vankar

  • Age: 52

  • Place: Sinhol

  • Education: 3rd pass, no English numbers

  • Family: 3 sons (30: B.Com, weaves; 25: 9th pass, factory; 21: 12th pass, factory)

  • SEWA:12 years; weaving activity

  • ICT: Nothing

  • I can receive phone calls, but I can’t call. I don’t know English numbers. Whatever you teach us, we will learn. I don’t have time to go out, I spend the whole day on household work and weaving. I have no plans to learn anything. But I push kids to learn this, learn that. I say, “Look, because of our financial situation, I couldn’t learn, but you have to learn.” None of my kids know computers. My youngest wants to go to college, but because of our financial situation, he cannot.

Shyam Sunder

Jessica s summary
Jessica’s Summary Gujarat

  • Bleak moments for ICT

  • Big picture: encouraging

    • Improved quality of life of women users

    • Found gainful employment after comp. train.

    • Confidence, sense of identity, hope

    • Woman breastfeeding during computer class

    • ICT constantly reinvents itself

Shyam Sunder

Opening the windows
Opening the Windows Gujarat

  • Globalization of South Asia, or elsewhere, is not a new phenomenon

  • Many epochs of intense globalization in recorded history

    • Indian fabrics in Egyptian mummies

    • Alexander, Indo-Hellenic cultures, Gandhar

    • Indo-China trade, 7th-15th Century AD

    • Guests from India at Medici wedding (15th C.)

    • Indian textiles in Europe until invention of powered looms

    • Why is the world’s best collection of emeralds in the Iranian treasury

  • There is little that is fundamentally new about today’s “globalization”

  • Societies open and shut their windows to the world for their own reasons, and bear the consequences

Shyam Sunder

When you open the windows
When You Open the Windows Gujarat

  • Sitting in a closed house is safe, autarchy

  • Opening the windows means flow of view, air, information, models of behavior, organization, technology, ideas, goods, services, friendships and threats, in both directions

  • Whether one should live in an open or closed house depends on one’s values and perspectives

  • Let us just talk about some consequences

  • I shall talk for 20 minutes, show you a DVD, so we can have at least 20 minutes for discussion

Shyam Sunder

South asia social changes
South Asia: Social Changes Gujarat

  • Spending more of the income on living, not saving

  • Unmarried women living away from home

  • Women working night shifts in offices

  • Change in aspirations of the young

    • “I want to be like Bill Gates,” a 13 year old.

  • Impact on caste system: wages attracting higher cast people to jobs shunned earlier

  • What is in the suitcases of people entering India at Santa Cruz airport: DVD players or diapers?

Shyam Sunder

Economic Gujarat

  • “A computer is like a buffalo, even better. It does not eat, and makes more money than 5 liters of milk per day” (a semiliterate member of SEWA in Gujarat)

  • Reduction in poverty

Shyam Sunder

Education Gujarat

  • New focus on primary education in villages

  • Demand for English medium education (“convent) in villages (DPS policy)

  • Almost universal criticism of the government decision to LOWER the tuition fees at IIMs from Rs.150,000 to 30,000 per year, including from students

  • Rise in the number and quality of private schools and colleges with the willingness to pay for quality education

  • Wilson’s greatest achievement: open university in U.K.

Shyam Sunder

Consumer society
Consumer Society Gujarat

  • Unwillingness of consumers to accept shoddy goods

  • Rise in quality of products and services

Shyam Sunder

Political Gujarat

  • E-government

  • Organized protests about the murder of Dubey

  • Tolerance and expectation of corruption

  • Globalization as the second independence

  • Nehru used the windows metaphor but could not take it to its logical conclusion

Shyam Sunder

Internal globalization
Internal “Globalization” Gujarat

  • Construction workers in a house in Bangalore cannot speak to each other—five languages

  • Railway reservations

  • Internal migration

  • Lower fertility

  • Concept of what is wealth

Shyam Sunder

Management and business
Management and Business Gujarat

  • Improvement in management practices

  • Thinking of salary as compensation in exchange for services rendered, not a right

  • New global benchmarks for efficiency

Shyam Sunder

Agriculture Gujarat

  • The wheat being grown in India till 1960 was the same as found in Mohenjodaro (2500 BC)

  • Green revolution, high yield varieties, fertilizers, irrigation, and degradation of land

  • PL 480 Wheat  Congress weed

  • Impact of Australian fresh fruit on quality and packaging of fruit in India

  • Wasted fruits and vegetables in India = total production in EU

  • Rise of food processing and storage industries

Shyam Sunder

Environment Gujarat

  • Public interest law suits

  • Supreme court activism

  • Shut down of factories in Delhi and Agra to improve air quality

  • Increasing congestion—no parking or driving spaces for newly acquired cars

Shyam Sunder

Trade Gujarat

  • $135 billion reserves (Problem: what to do with them)

  • 1970: Allowed $10 for students going out of India

  • Import of computers, designs, equipment, software, capital

    • 24/7 Customer Call Center in Bangalore has Compaq computers, Microsoft software, Lucent phones, Carrier airconditioning, Coca Cola bottled water, and 90 percent owned by US investors

  • JadooWorks:U.S. scriptwriter for Krishna story, American voices, US and British game designers

  • Most trade in the world takes place among rich nations, not between rich and poor nations

Shyam Sunder

Summary and discussion
Summary and Discussion Gujarat

  • Understanding of South Asia

  • Understanding of globalization

  • What is so special?

Shyam Sunder