Murela, a resident of Shamator from Tuensang District of Nagaland lives with her husband and three children. She is a weaver with NENterprise – Chizami Weaves, and a member of Self Employed Women Association (SEWA). Her husband is a recovering alcoholic who is now a farm labourer and earns his living by working in fields owned by other people. He usually makes 150 rupees a day on the days that he does get work. Murela herself makes about ₹1500- 4000 from weaving depending on the availability of raw materials and market demand.
With the lockdown, both Murela and her husband’s income has suffered. She can no longer weave or go out to work. She does not have a ration card and so availing APL and BPL ration was out of the question as well, bringing to question her very survival and that of her family. When Ari, our Field Coordinator in Shamator, approached her for a job at cleaning the town (an offer initially made by the Assistant Deputy Commissioner), one that she would be paid for, she saw some hope and agreed immediately. The task lasted three days and Murela made just enough money to secure basic dry ration for her family. North East Network also provided her with some ration to help her tide over the insecurity of the lockdown.
Women like Murela are eking out a day to day survival plan with often no support system and are fast losing the bare minimum resources that they had to begin with. NEN has been trying to ensure that they do not go hungry and have access to some sort of livelihood and we have only our patrons and our women leaders to thank.