Hemant would have been completely out of luck if he had not thought to try Karuna Das, who had two daughters of marriageable age. Karuna was a sinewy day laborer, and he had roamed far from the village in his younger days to work in iron foundries in Chennai and Hyderabad. The gossip was that Karuna agreed to enroll his eldest daughters because he was unable to scrape together , rupees for dowries.
That was undoubtedly the case. It was also true that Karuna did not care much what other people said. He had never behaved like a poor man. It turned out that Karuna had not been asking for permission. He instructed his daughters to pack four or five changes of clothes. Go see what the world is like, he told them. Now you have to move on. Prabhati has never seen a train, much less ridden in one, and on the hour journey to Bangalore the earth seems to heave under her.
As miles of paddy fields slide by, she vomits. Thatch roofs are replaced by peaked roofs, and she vomits. When they reach south India, rain begins to hit the window in fat spatters. It had come as news to Prabhati that the training program involved traveling miles. But some intention had hardened within her. She wanted to prove the neighbors wrong. She did not care about her marriage prospects because, after examining the marriages that surrounded her in Ishwarpur, she decided she did not want to marry at all.
Shashi sits beside her retching sister and strokes her back. She had not wanted to come. Happy enough with a future as a housewife, she had focused her energy on making mischief. But Prabhati plunged forward, and, as usual, Shashi cruised along in her wake. The sisters, lugging a bag of clothes, sit with 35 other girls from Odisha who are making the same journey.
They have all dressed in baggy purple-and-gray uniforms, with ID cards swinging from their necks. Their parents had made last-minute attempts to keep them from leaving, which had to be repelled with sustained tantrums. The Gram Tarang instructors had taught them an anthem about self-sufficiency, and they sing it on their journey to Bangalore, again and again, for comfort. The sun has not yet risen when they arrive at the hostel that will be their new home for the next six months: women in 15 unfurnished rooms, every inch covered with girlish flotsam, underwear and bras drying on the window grates, sentimental verses penciled on the walls.
But the girls are too keyed up to sleep. Climbing onto the roof, they can see the sun rising over a landscape of other roofs, where, in all directions, migrants seek a breath of quiet. There they can gaze up at the 22nd story of an apartment building, where residents come out to hang their laundry on balconies.
It is the most amazing thing they have ever seen: big people looking tiny. Baby says something about her eventual return to India, and when someone corrects her, she looks up sharply. For the first few weeks, everything is new. Stepping out of the hostel, the trainees are surrounded by men: Men on balconies, men on scooters, men lounging in doorways, staring. On the day of a Hindu festival, Prabhati peers down from the roof at a troupe of transgender dancers, smiling and twitching suggestively as men press in around them.
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When one bends down so that an onlooker can stick a folded bill in her cleavage, Prabhati is so shocked that she has an impulse to reach for a stone and throw it. To cross the street — a throbbing two-lane road coursing with auto rickshaws, clattering cargo trucks, scooters carrying whole families — requires stepping in front of the slower-moving vehicles, if necessary stopping them with their bodies.
The girls waver, and then they plunge. Much of what they learned in the village must be unlearned here. One evening when Baby begins preparing dinner, several of her roommates protest. She is menstruating, and caste tradition dictates that menstruating women must live in isolation, sleeping alone and taking care not to step into the kitchen, lest they contaminate the food and water. So two of the younger roommates cook, emerging an hour later with a glutinous, inedible glop. At this point, Baby is irritated. She walks into the kitchen, and the scent of spices and onions fills the room.
After a brief discussion, they agree that the menstruation rules will be void for as long as they are living in Bangalore. Then they stuff themselves with food and fall into a deep sleep. When they are introduced to a factory supervisor and dive to touch her feet, a traditional gesture of respect toward elders, the supervisor jumps back as if she has been stuck with a hot poker.
She then assumes a slight crouch, as if preparing to defend herself from further reverence. Back in their bedrooms, the girls laugh hysterically at this. From childhood, they have been told that it is disrespectful for a girl to laugh out loud in the presence of elders. In the event of irrepressible laughter, girls must cover their mouths with anything at hand: the corner of a dupatta, a hand, a washcloth.
This lesson, too, flies out the window. In the hostel they laugh like tractors. They laugh so loud they spit their water out. The recruits, whose native language is Oriya, barely understand. Thirty-seven tailors bend their heads, trying to guide frayed threads through a maze of eight loops.
At the K. And yet, incredibly, garments worn in the West are still made by humans — nearly all of them women, working exhausting hours, with few legal protections and little chance of advancement, for some of the lowest wages in the global supply chain. As the trainees practice sewing straight lines on pieces of scrap fabric, supervisors pace the aisle, hoping to spot one with machinelike dexterity and speed.
One of them slows, and then stops, beside a girl called Cuddles, the daughter of a truck driver. The supervisor blinks, looks again. This is — there is no other word for it — talent. She has covered the fabric with seams as straight as the lines on ruled notebook paper. Cuddles is among the first in the group to be integrated into an assembly line, bent over, eyes straining. If she allows a tag to slip to the floor, or fly away in the gusts from the ceiling fan, her salary will be docked. A man with a loft of dyed black hair steps out of his office to greet the group.
This is N. Manjunath, the assistant general manager for human resources at the factory. He is recruiting rural workers through the government program because he is desperate: City-dwellers are no longer interested in factory jobs like these, with their low pay and punishing conditions, and attrition rates are high. Migrant women are more docile. This is what Manjunath is hoping. Prabhati, Shashi and the other recruits take seats in a canteen, and sit with their hands folded in their laps.
They are to work every day but Sunday. They can collect their pension in 40 years. Should they die on the job, state health insurance will cover funeral costs. They are drowsy. The numbers fly by them in flocks.
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Manjunath thinks of himself as a kind man. Lately, when the girls come to him with complaints, he listens skeptically, with a sardonic smile. He is right to worry. After six months on the job, when the government incentives are paid out, around half the trainees brought in by Gram Tarang return to their villages. Only 40 percent stay longer than a year.
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It comes down to this: If the village has a plan for the girls, so does the factory. Leading them through the rows of machines, Manjunath wags his finger. Those who remain spill their secrets to one another. Tanushree Behera sleeps entangled with a girl she calls her wife. Jayasmita Behera is divorced, having left her husband less than two weeks after the wedding. The rest spend their evenings in quiet conversation with boyfriends, whose existence is unknown to their parents.
Male tailors stroll by as they work, dropping love letters folded into fat wads, and the girls read them aloud, to comic effect, at the hostel. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, they compare notes on evasive maneuvers they use to avoid being shown to prospective in-laws, like Roadrunner slipping away from Wile E. Shradhanjali Mallick, the beauty among them, says she used to have success with bouts of hysterical crying, but that moving to Bangalore has been more effective. This is not something Prabhati can laugh about at home. Her views on marriage were set in stone several years back, when a young wife in her village was set on fire in a domestic dispute.
Prabhati has been arguing for years that she should be allowed to remain single, that her parents should proceed to fixing a marriage for Shashi, who is pretty and will get better offers. But her parents flick away her comment, casually, as if it were a fly. So she thinks of escape. This is a subject she cannot discuss with her sister. Three years ago, Prabhati came across a mobile phone that a secret boyfriend gave Shashi as a way of keeping in touch, rigged, as if for espionage, with no audible sound or light, to be switched on at times when they have agreed to speak.
Prabhati snatched the phone away and informed her father. For months, she could not look him in the eye. The sisters were never as close again. When it comes to the future, Prabhati and Shashi keep their own counsel. By the first week of June, the new girls are praying for Sunday to arrive. Their joints hurt. Their backs hurt. They come home from the factory with fingers punctured by needles or sliced by industrial clippers. Sitting still for eight hours is strange and new, and at times, the boredom is maddening. They sing to their machines. They pull hairs out of their chins. Baby amuses herself by giving herself little scratches on the wrist.
It does give them energy — it includes caffeine and maltodextrin — but it also gives them diarrhea and eats up their remaining cash. This is no small problem, because they are running out of money for food. They count the days until June 10, when they will be paid for their first two weeks of work. On June 10, they are not paid. Three more days pass, and they still are not paid.
Outside the factory window the sky has turned black and the air is churning; a curtain of monsoon rain is about to sweep in. He looks up from his desk, annoyed. The usual genial expression has vanished from his face. He explains that he cannot solve their problem: The company has opened bank accounts for them, but the bank has not delivered their A. Anyway, he dismisses the suggestion that the girls are running out of money.
And who, he wonders, has given them the idea that they can make demands? He surveys the group in search of its leader. When Jayasmita steps forward to say they have not eaten since yesterday, he swivels his head in her direction. He does not speak Oriya. The girls are promised an advance for rice and are ordered to leave his office. They shuffle out. They had been planning to stop working unless they were paid immediately, but their strike has lasted less than five minutes.
Jayasmita slumps against a wall, and vows never to try anything like that again. This sum must last them for the next month. In the hostel room where Prabhati and Shashi stay, the amount of the paycheck is not relevant. They have never earned money before, only asked their fathers for it.
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A wave of happiness washes over all of them. They do not feel like girls, they say: They feel like boys. They transfer credit — 30 rupees, 50 rupees — to the cellphones of their mothers, brothers, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and boyfriends, as if they were distributing sweets to celebrate some windfall. Unable to wait, they call their families from cubbyhole A. This is not always welcome. Prabhati and Shashi are among the last to receive their A.
Leaving the A. She scans the street, looking for some way to celebrate, and finally asks a man if she can borrow his bicycle for a moment. She climbs on top of it and pedals as hard as she can, her braid flying behind her. Then, taking note of his look of worry, she swings the bicycle around and returns it to its owner. Shashi dances down the stairs and most of the way home. The money sends a wild thrill through her, so that she wishes she could fast-forward through the next month, and the month after that, and after that.
So that life is a long string of paydays. The two sisters make a pact: They will stay in Bangalore at least a year. They spend much of their paychecks on nose rings for each other, tiny specks of carat gold. They place them on each other in front of their roommates, beaming, their faces so close together that they could be kissing.
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The chapters outlining the fourteen step approach include topics like Commitment from the top management, Choosing the right product, Understanding the mindset of the rural consumers, getting a dedicated task force, Developing focused communication strategy, Performance evaluation etc. The highlight of the book is the elaborate chapter on Below the Line Activities BTL which account for 80 per cent of the rural marketing efforts. In this chapter the author provides a detailed practical guide for any kind of road shows.
I want people to feel the experiences I went through," he says while stating that the correct TG for the book is marketers, MBA students as well as anyone who wants to know about the subject. Another added feature is that many of the chapters are supported with appendices giving very useful contact details of individuals and institutions that provide support services to anyone interested in making a foray into rural marketing.
When asked which are the companies which have paid attention to the field, he replies "HUL and ITC have been doing it for years now. But in the current scenario, the company which has created dominance in the rural market through its campaigns and initiatives is LG.
The book has a foreword by ITC executive director Kurush Grant who describes the book as the first usable manual for marketers. According to the president of Rural Marketing Association of India and father of rural marketing Pradeep Kashyap, "The book is a must have for anyone involved in Rural Marketing because it has practical insights on Rural marketing which are invaluable for companies and agencies.
Rajan goes on to say that although rural marketing share has increased over the years and states like Punjab, Haryana among many others have gown fantastically one still needs to focus on it. The page book is accompanied by a DVD containing video clips of some successful case studies of Anugrah Madison. From its name and logo to the content that it aired, everything struck some wrong chord with the government. Sports genre has grown by 2. Depicting Kabaddi as a tough sport, the campaign highlights key aspects that players build over the course of the season which include strength, agility The Men in Blue's march to semi-final was delivered a mini-setback by England on Sunday.
India now have five wins, a loss and a draw in their seven matches. Bangladesh need to a win against India to stay alive in the tournament