Empower Him

By: Gayatri Sood

Say there once was a man who was a mere rag-picker, fickle of bone, and weak of strength. Though a meagre income he had, he split the inadequacy three ways: Ration (so his wife wouldn’t fret), Education (so his daughters weren’t bereft), Marriage (so society won’t threat). He walks down same ol’ golden road at the break of dawn, scavenging through elite garbage and ogling at mansions of silver. Who knew the rich were petty with such materials that treasure would be found by this filthy urchin? Scurrying along the tracts in haste, he made his way before they awoke; his fa├žade was an illness to them, but their refuse was his gain. A boon to his bane. Reaching his slum, he laid down his find, and his daughter could see a month’s stationary in sight. Crayons she needed for a lowly class project, that one day who knows, would send her to space or the street behind. Many a snow fell and many a slipper tore, the father did drive on and her scores did soar. So, one day she came home and lit the dump on fire, for her father could now hang up the worn sack and live the life she aspired.
Empower – an entire world hides beneath the thicket of this word. A world where highly ‘aware’ youth and self-proclaimed ‘In-The-Name-of-Feminism’ activists tend to usher their uncertainty in the minds of all. Every little ‘tantrum’ is an excuse to lash out for a better cause, for a better understanding of this word. However, in today’s world we have become so pro-active with obsession over women’s issues that the ‘Lesser Male’ is forgotten.
An argument may arise pertaining to the unnecessary need for male empowerment but that is just a cloudy judgement where narrow minds are blemished with the thought that any such agenda is adding fuel to male authority. Men are seen as the root cause of all drawbacks, but what is overlooked are the facts that they in turn are part-solution to said problem.
In my opinion, yes, not all men need upliftment, but they who do don a very different set of attire, one below our eye level.
The ‘Lesser’ Sapiens and Their Pain
I do not wish to bring to light in what characteristics a man needs empowering – emotional, physical and psychological – but I speak of the ones that go unmentioned on paper – Empowering a man to uplift his family. These take form in observances via daily interaction with male counterparts of a lower social hierarchy, who take up jobs that may seem beneath us but are the only way of living they see necessary to sleep without a growling stomach.
Belonging to a supposed third world country – India (I do not know who judged us so, but there it stands) I have had chance encounters with men whom I entitle ‘Heroes of the Ignoble.’ These men personify themselves in various forms, from Chauffeurs to rag pickers, constables to some daily-wage laborers, every nook and cranny breeds them. Now you may think that due to lack of literacy, they are inept, stuck to the past premonition of, “I was born a farmer and so shall my progeny,” but are quite the contrary. They are instilled with family-ambition only to be held back by a world of subconscious pain.
The “Pain” I talk about is not self-pity; it is a form of self-doubt. A doubt that has emerged through years of being subdued by the elites, rendering them incapable of rising above a certain stature. However, this phenomenon was done and dusted years ago, with the emergence of an unarchaic thought process, many a mind has been incorporated with the firm decision to rescue their future generations, hence the upliftment has only just sparked, and now, it needs to be set ablaze.
Efforts by The Ignoble
Hailing from the heart of India, I can say that I have seen it all ,but that would be a misleading tragedy, as what I fight for are only whispers that have cried in my ears. I wish to provide two such diverse cases that I have had hands-on experience with, leading to polar opposite endings for both families. To begin with, pertaining to the ever-expanding population levels of our country, many small-town village belles and beaus migrate to the metropolitans looking for means to fill their empty pockets. Some fly solo, some with multiple mouths to feed. One such soul was my gardener. A man weak of bone and low on wit, who worked ten houses in our neighbourhood starting at the break of dawn till his children were sound asleep. Now, it was not only the factor of educating his children that came into play, but the fact that his eldest daughter suffered from autism. This provided for him the utmost incentive to not only develop modern growth for his children, but ensure that his ‘special’ daughter got the required help at a ‘special’ needs school.
Farming examples of such men, a need arises for more intensity in spearheading progressive thoughts amongst the society. The social despots, who are you and I are in regular encounters with men of these silent abilities, hence, we can help tap into the very potential and spread awareness to further this cause.