Uma Devi

As Interviewed by Geetika Polavarapu, March 20, 2018

About Uma Devi

Uma Devi: In Her Own Words
As interviewed by Geetika Polavarapu

I was married when I was 14. Iíve been in this marriage for 50 years now. My eldest daughter was born when I was 15. I studied for 10 years and dropped out of school after completing primary school. I never really enjoyed school, but I wouldnít have left it if it werenít for my parents. Dropping out was my decision either way. I enjoyed planting flowers in the front porch and cooking...Even now, I still consider these things my hobbies. Almost everyone in my family had higher education than I did. I always regretted this thinking that if I had more education, I would have been able to be happier. In school, I loved to read. I would read for many, many hours. I wasnít able to write, but I was taught how to read basic English words. After my marriage, I stopped reading at all. One of my older sisters had education up until 10th grade. My younger sister until inter. My other older sister up until 7th grade...and my younger brother did nothing.

I used to play outside a lot with all the kids when I was younger. At the age of 11, I stopped playing. I used to have this one friend who I used to play with everyday. We used to play creative games we invented with throwing pebbles, a version of hopscotch, thieves and police, and even board games such as snakes and ladders. After marriage, I didnít do anything except cooking for your grandfather and cleaning the house. Then, I took care of my children, then my grandchildren. There wasnít really that much I was able to do anyways. Once in a while, I would plant something. The two things I like are plants and children. Plants and children. Plants and children.

A new law was created in 2006 to ban girls under the age of 18 to be sent off to be married. What are your opinions on this law?

Itís good. Itís good

It was different when we were younger. We would listen to our parents. And now, kids donít have any respect. THese kids have too much anger. Back then we would have nest, braided hair. Now kids wear their hair down like ghosts.

After the marriage, everything changed. I would fight with my mother-in-law all the time. I fought with your grandfather even more. I felt sad. I cried. I felt angry. But I still couldnít do anything. They would complain and get angry on how my first child wasnít born a male. Stupid beliefs. There was no valid reason behind it either.

The best age to marry is around 25. By then, you would have finished your education. At that time, we knew nothing.
My mother told me to marry him. So I did.