UNICEF's Meena: Dividing the Mango

Work knows no gender. It builds rapport and sensitivity to each other when done together. Here's Meena's story that questioned the prevailing gender discrimination. A question to ponder: How far have we evolved from that sorry state of inequality since its first broadcast?
 
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One day, Meena and Mithu climbed a tall mango tree to pluck a ripe fruit. 
Meena ran home to share the juicy mango with her brother Raju.

Mother cut the mango and divided the pieces between Meena and Raju. 
Meena was upset when she saw that Raju had been given a bigger share. 
When she protested, Grandmother said that boys always get more to eat than girls.
 
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That night too, Meena noticed that Raju was given more food. Mother also gave him an egg, while Meena got none.
Mithu watched from behind and was not at all pleased.
 
When the children went to wash their hands,
Mithu divided the egg into two and put half of it on Meena’s plate.

 

When they came back, Meena was made to return the egg to Raju.

 
Grandmother started scolding Meena for wanting the egg,
but Father thought it was unfair because both the children were growing up and both worked hard.

 

Raju didn’t agree. He thought he worked very hard, much harder than Meena, and therefore deserved more food.
“Your work is so simple,” he told her. So, Meena suggested that they change places for a day and do each other’s chores.

 

The next day was a holiday. Meena asked Mithu to wake Raju up early in the morning to light the fire.

Raju discovered that lighting the fire was not a very easy job.

Suddenly, Mithu woke her up screaming, “Lali! Lali!”

Meena found out that Lali had wandered into the headman’s vegetable garden.
She had to chase Lali for a long time before she was able to catch her.

Raju was tired and hungry.
Grandmother had watched him all day and had realized just how much work Meena did every day.
 
That night at dinner, Mother gave Raju Meena’s usual share of food, and put the larger plate of food in front of Meena.
 
Poor Raju looked so disappointed! Looking at his face, everyone burst out laughing.
Everyone now knew that boys and girls need equal food to grow strong.

 

On the way to school the next morning, Raju plucked a ripe guava that was hanging from a low branch.
 
As he shared the fruit with Meena, Raju promised to help her with the housework whenever he could.
Meena admitted that Raju’s work of looking after Lali was not very easy either.
 
Here is a video version of the same, courtesy UNICEF Bangladesh's YouTube channel
 
 

 

 

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