Taslima Mohammed from Telangana is learning from her own struggle and helping all she can among the Gotti Kaya tribe.
Government sub-registrars, unlike those who work on a farm, do not have a very glowing reputation. Some of this is due to red tape, which the people like sub-registrars cannot help. And some of it comes from inefficiency and even corruption.
But have you ever heard a sub-registrar say this –
“I earn Rs 250, or sometimes Rs 300 from farm work during the weekends. I work from 9 am to 5 pm. The money I earn is spent immediately on the needy or handed over to my farming colleagues,”
Meet Taslima Mohammed, 34, a sub-registrar working in Mulugu and Jayashankar Bhupalpally, two districts in Telangana. As a sub-registrar, she keeps maintains property records, and collects any taxes applicable to the government.
And while she is appreciative of her ‘day’ job in the government, Taslima feels real satisfaction has only come to her after she started striving for a social cause.
Her causes are many, and most aim to uplifting members of the underprivileged Gutti Koya tribe, spread across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
As mentioned above, one of her causes is farm labour, which she has been taking up every weekend for the past six years.
She also uses the time with her farm mates to explain government schemes and create awareness about making use of them.
The government official says the reason for her motivation lies in her past.
“My father was killed by Naxalites. My mother toiled in our five-acre land but eventually lost it for monetary reasons. Farming helped my mother survive and take care of me,” she says.
Recollecting her poor economic condition, Taslima says, “I remember my mother working hard to save Rs 13,000 to pay my coaching fees for the government examination.”
“I always remember the struggle my mother went through, and whenever I see the pain and suffering in others, I want to ease it,” she tells The Better India.
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Taslima says her help has gone beyond just the people around her. “I help lost kids trace their parents. I make sure they get clean and register with the police and other legal departments. We also put out a social media post for the parents to know,” she explains.
Taslima is also a parent to a 15-year-old girl who lost her parents in an accident. “When I found her, I learned she lost her parents and had no one. I decided to take care of her and followed the legal procedure,” she adds.
In another instance, the official came across an eight-month pregnant woman who had nowhere to go. “I took her home and ensured that she ate well and received all the help she needed until her delivery. I like to help anyone and everyone whom I can reach out,” Taslima said.
The social crusader has also reformed 17 children and motivated around 300 students and young professionals to support their families in their respective farms during the lockdown.
However, to achieve this, Taslima says she spends over half of her salary in helping as much as she can.
“I am blessed to have a supportive husband and family for the bigger cause,” she says.
“Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the youngsters studying in major cities and professionals returned to their hometown, but now feel uncomfortable working in the fields. But there is also a shortage of labour owing to the lockdown,” Taslima said.
It was then she decided to push them to support the families. “I even managed to convince 50 teachers from private institutes to do the same,” Taslima says.
Her work has earned her the title of ‘Gutti Koyala Peddakka’ which translates to ‘Sister of the Gutti Koya tribes’.
Taslima has over 1, 500 followers and a Facebook page ‘Sub-Registrar Taslima followers’. The page helps community members and also lets others reach out for help and support.
One of the beneficiaries, Vinod Banoth, a class XI student and athlete studying at Telangana State Residential School said, “I know Taslima for a year now, and she met my needs for diet and nutrition. Taslima is like a motherly figure who has supported me.”
Rakesh Gottimmukkula, 35, is a private teacher in Mulugu says Taslima has inspired the teachers during the lockdown.
“Taslima has supported about 50 teachers during the lockdown, recent floods and also with the farming activity. She is a constant inspiration in tough times,” he added.
Another youngster Anvesh Manchoju said he wrote a letter to the sub-district magistrate a few years ago seeking a loan and financial support for his education. “VP Gautam, the SDM then, now like a brother and Taslima, sister helped me with the finances to study political science,” he added.
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)