In this episode of Behind the Label,
Bhagya shares with us her life story.
When she was all of 14-years-old, Bhagya started traveling from her village to Bengaluru every day for work. She used to walk three to four kilometers and then catch a bus from the main road. With no parents present in her life, she used to stay with her grandparents. “I remember thinking, why only should I have to suffer like this? But these struggles were very common when being brought up in a poor family.”
Bhagya’s grandparents got her married early and they passed away soon after. In Bengaluru, life with her husband was not easy. He was indifferent to her and was careless about taking care of the family. So, she left him and started living on her own, with her son in her care. To lead a respectful life, she joined a garments factory, but the life there meant facing scoldings, intense stress, and other discriminative practices on a daily basis. “I lose hope sometimes in life but my son keeps me going.”
Salaries in garment factories are meager. “Life is difficult with the salaries we get. We sit on hard iron chairs that have no backrests; sitting for 8 hours straight is not an easy task! Production stress is also very high as they demand 100 to 110 pieces of fabric per day, which is near impossible to deliver; initially, it used to be 40 to 50 pieces. As we workers haven’t received any formal education, these garment factories have become the source of our bread and butter. Every day, when I get up in the morning, I feel stressed thinking about going to work. God knows when I will be relieved of this stress.”