Manjula is from a poor background. Her poverty, family instability and her experience as a woman in a patriarchal society is not atypical. She has shown great determination, fortitude, even stoicism. It’s a common story in India. Women (and men) managing to survive through very challenging backgrounds and life circumstances.
Manjula’s story helps illuminate what life is like for so many people living in contemporary India. There may be explosive growth of the economy and the middle classes – we can see the evidence in many ways – higher disposable income, rising prices, spare money sloshing around, building-building-building, the glorification of ‘development’, leisure holidays, flash cars, waste everywhere, traffic jams, disposable nappies (diapers), house dogs… you name it, we’ve got it!
But as with everywhere else and even more so in India, the rich and poor whilst living cheek by jowl are far far away from each other. People are left out and behind, there is the risk their story is not told or realised, their needs forgotten, a myopia of the modern age.