Women are put through extreme hardships during their lifetime. But the life of these sugarcane workers is beyond imagination.
The village, Hajipur, is home to a community of sugarcane workers and they migrate to the western belt of Maharashtra during cane cutting season.
However, the contractors prefer hiring ‘wombless’ women because according to them, they would need no breaks in comparison to a woman who is menstruating.
A cane-cutter named Satyabhama told The Hindu that after getting a hysterectomy, the likelihood of a woman taking a break is significantly lower and cane-cutters cannot afford to take breaks.
This leaves the women with no choice since this is their only source of annual income. Afer this, they don’t get any work for the rest of the year.
We have a target to complete in a limited time frame and hence we don’t want women who would have periods during cane cutting.
Reportedly, the contractors give the women an advance for the surgery and deduct the amount from their wages.
An organisation by the name of Tathapi conducted a study on this and revealed that women as young as 25 years have undergone this surgery. Removal of their womb can lead to hormonal imbalance, mental health issues and weight gain.
The report further adds that the a woman who works in the cane-cutting industry lives a life of torment. Allegedly, in addition to the hysterectomy, they are also sexually exploited by the contractor and their men. The absence of toilets and bathrooms make it even harder for them to get by.
No one should have to live a life like this.