Beemani Palian – Mauritius

Beemani Palian – Mauritius

Date: July 1, 2015
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Palian is among the very few women who is the Present of a Village Council in the locality of Grand Port Savanne. As a Village Councillor, she works at grassroots level and is very close to the community. She has opted for an open door policy as she wants women, men and children to live in a healthy environment and get all the help that they need. She is always available for the people in her village. She feels she is responsible for the welfare of her community. She is always present when there is a funeral, a prayer or a wedding. When there is a funeral she makes sure that flowers are sent, and if the person is poor she makes a little collection of money and gives some money to the family. She also makes sure that women live in a safe and clean environment. She does not hesitate to contact Ministers of her District so that all households can have bins; they are an essential prerequisite for a clean environment.

Palian is a born politician, but has never dared to stand as candidate for a village election. When there was a vacancy at the Village Council of Bel Air, the President suggested that Palian filled the vacancy. Palian immediately agreed and she soon found herself climbing up the ladder and became President of the Village Council. “Now that I am President I can say in all confidence that women too can lead. “

Palian has every reason to be confident. Her 22 year old daughter is mentally and physically handicapped. And yet this has not prevented her from caring for her whole family and making sure that her disabled daughter has a quality life. “I take her to the beach in her wheel chair so that she can enjoy the fresh air and see the surroundings. When I visit close relatives I take her with me. I even took her to a wedding once. But as far as possible I visit only those who I am sure will not sneer at her. I am not afraid to say that my daughter is disabled and being so opened about it has helped my other daughter. She came out first in an essay competition telling the story of her sister.”

Palian said she will always be grateful to Gender Links. Gender Links opened her eyes on so many issues. She could not tell the difference between sex and gender, and for her both meant the same thing. Gender Links made her realise that she was taking things for granted. She now realises the capabilities of women and how women are going into male dominated fields. The gender concept is important for women leaders and yet they are unaware of so many issues. It was at a Gender Links workshop that she heard about ARVs, PEP, the Needle Exchange Programme and then Methadone Programme for the first time. “How could I have known that climate change affects women more than men had it not been for Gender Links?” Palian heard about the 16 days campaign against Gender Violence for the first time during GL workshop. She also said that she heard the word SADC before, without knowing what it meant, let alone the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. “What I have learnt will be shared with my community. I will organise a meeting in my house so that I can share what I have learnt from Gender Links.”

“Yes, indeed I was contributing to the economy without even realising it, and I must thank Gender Links for that.” Palian was baking cakes and selling them in front her house. All profits helped create a good quality of life for her children. Finally, she decided to follow a course and with the loan that she took she has extended her business. Palian told Gender Links that with a business, a disabled daughter and a community that she cares for like her family, she has a plate full and counts her blessing for that.



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