Mali community women in Rajasthan barred from working outside

Tonk (Rajasthan), Aug 2 (IANS) The women of the Mali community in Rajasthan have been barred from working outside their homes.

A ‘maha panchayat’ (mass meet) of the community held here, over 100 km from Jaipur Wednesday approved the decision taken at a meet held here a few days back and also decided to take action against women not adhering to the diktat.

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Even selling vegetables has been banned and anyone flouting it would have to pay a fine.

This step is aimed at dissuading women from marrying outside their community.

The maha panchayat asked them to stay indoors and warned that those who defied the order would be fined, Ramesh Chand Gadwal, a leader of the community told IANS on Thursday.

“Some of the women while accepting their fault of doing outside work felt sorry and assured us that they would stop it,” he claimed.

However, the workingwomen of the community have criticised the decision. “I have to come here to sell vegetables. Otherwise, how will I be able to feed my children? My husband does not earn much,” Veena, a vegetable vendor said.

“No one wants to work. It is the circumstances that force you to take it up. Will these leaders feed our family? It is not a right decision,” she said.

Echoing similar views, another vegetable vendor said outside work was necessary for her to feed her family.

The Malis are traditional cultivators and sellers of flowers.