Voices of Poverty: Narratives of Homeless and Slum Dwelling Women of India
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This main objective of this study was intended to explore the “lived experiences” of the two sections of women who live in poverty in Patna, and in neighboring cities of Bihar in India. According to Besly et.al(2007) in Bihar, “the share of the population in poverty has remained stagnant at above 60 percent from 1958 to 2000(p.59). The initial section was focused on women who lived in slums, and the other section included women who lived on streets or called “homeless.” The study focused on both to observe the similarities and differences of the two kinds of women who belonged to these different situations. The study also emphasized how these women “define poverty and its future,” what they have to say about it, and whether there is anything they can say about its future. All the pieces of evidence collected here are from these women through conducting interviews via narrative research and observations. Further, the shreds of evidence and observations were analyzed and distributed into themes that directly connected more than one participant. Women in slums, though they live in poverty had better access to resources, food, and clothing. Women living in both places had similar experiences of some kind of abuse and had certain or similar reasons to migrate. Some were driven towards the city along with their families and converted to being homeless due to hostile situations, and some migrated by leaving their homes and families for the same reasons. The study specifies that their reasons for leaving homes were due to crisis and fights that embraced their homes on a solid basis. Women’s desire to live a life of freedom and not get trapped in situations that contribute to their already existing trauma was the primary and most important finding of the study. This study was based much on narrative research where women openly talked, and there was not a formal setting to create a more appealing atmosphere for women to talk freely. It was spontaneous, and the setting was very comfortable.