I am Suseela. I was born and brought up in Alappuzha district, and am now working as a gender RP in Kannur district. I was living in Alappuzha with my husband and our two children. We shifted to Kannur as part of my husband’s job requirements.
We lived in rented houses at first, but later bought our own house and land. From 2002, I was working as CDAS at Narathu grama panchayat. It was then that Kudumbasrees’s GSLP classes began. It was the time that I was carrying on with frontline activities as the district RP.
Around that time, we had a mother and her two beautiful daughters shift into my neighbourhood. The house was close to the road, and that was the start of the problems. The youngsters started to cause trouble by urinating in front of the house, saying abuses and obscenities, smashing streetlights at night, throwing firecrackers, laughing out loud, and singing loudly.
One day as I was taking class on the subject “Women and the development of community” at the panchayat, when a neighbour informed me that two obscene cut-outs were placed on a post in front of Pramila’s house. Nobody was reacting to it as they were scared of the boys. When we talked to the party men regarding this, we didn’t receive much response. They said they can get it removed by night. Pramila and her daughters were very upset and I wanted to do something against this harassment. I told everyone in my neighbourhood group to be there on the road at the time I reached there. After the class when I reached there, everyone had already come there with sickles and sticks in hand. I was overwhelmed by what I saw.
I got a chair, got on to it, and with the sickle, I hacked at the cut-outs. Everyone joined in and destroyed the cut-outs. I got phone calls with threats and abuses all through the night, but the women stood united. Everyone was surprised at our unity and strength. After that no one dared to harass the women in any way. I am satisfied that I could show the strength of women is not mere words, but a reality. Now I work as an RP in Alappuzha.