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“अठराशे रुपये म्हणजे किती रे भाऊ?” – मावशीच्या मागणीवर प्रा.सुभाष वारे यांनी टाकलेला प्रकाश

“अठराशे रुपये म्हणजे किती रे भाऊ?”
घरकाम मावशींना अठराशे रुपयांचा साधा हिशोब कसा कळत नाही याबद्दलचा एक व्हिडीओ आणि त्यावरचे विनोद आज समाजमाध्यमांवर फिरताहेत.
या निमित्ताने मला आठवलं की 1996 च्या आसपास आम्ही महाराष्ट्र आरोग्य मंडळाच्या *”भीमाशंकर आदिवासी प्रकल्पावर”* काम करत होतो. स्थानिक आदिवासी नागरिकांकडून होणाऱ्या मधसंकलनास पर्यावरणीय दृष्टीकोनातून मदत करायची आणि त्यांचेकडून मध घेऊन तो मुंबईला विकायचा व त्यांच्या मधासाठी त्यांना अधिकचा भाव मिळवून द्यायचा हा संस्थेचा एक उपक्रम होता.
संस्थेने हा उपक्रम हाती घेण्यापूर्वी कोकणातील व्यापारी मे महिन्याच्या अखेरीस त्या भागात यायचे. येताना गोडेतेल सोबत घेऊन यायचे व कळशी भरुन गोडेतेल आदिवासींना देऊन त्यांच्याकडून तेवढ्याच आकारमानाची कळशी भरुन मध घेऊन जायचे. मधाचा भाव गोडेतेलापेक्षा जास्त शिवाय मधाची घनता गोडेतेलापेक्षा जास्त त्यामुळे वजनावर व्यवहार न करता आकारमानावर होणारा हा व्यवहार व्यापाऱ्यांची चांदी करायचा. आदिवासींच त्यात आर्थिक नुकसान व्हायच. तिथे पाऊसमान भरपूर. त्यामुळे चार महिने रस्ते व स्थानिक बाजार बंद. त्यामुळे मे च्या शेवटी जरुरीपुरत गोडेतेल, साखर, मीठ घेऊन ठेवण ही त्यांची गरज असायची.
तर आम्ही संस्थेच्या वतीने मध संकलनात उतरलो. पहिल्या वर्षी वजनकाटा व रिकामे डबे व पैसे घेऊन आम्ही मध गोळा करायला सुरुवात केली. आम्ही मधाला व्यापाऱ्यांपेक्षा चांगला भाव रोख रकमेच्या स्वरुपात देऊ करत होतो. तरीही आदिवासी नागरिक आम्हाला मध द्यायला तयार होत नव्हते. *ते म्हणायचे आम्हाला आमच्या कळशी भरुन मधासाठी कळशी भरुन गोडेतेल पायजे.* आम्ही जे पैसे देत आहोत त्यातून तुम्हाला कळशीभर गोडेतेलापेक्षा जास्त गोडेतेल विकत घेता येईल हे आमचं म्हणण काही केल्या त्यांना पटत नव्हत. त्यावर्षी आम्ही मध मिळवण्यात अपयशी ठरलो. पुढील वर्षी आम्ही मग वजनकाट्यासोबत गोडेतेलाचे डबे पण घेऊन गेलो. पाड्यावर सर्वांसमोर कळशीभर मध घ्यायचो. कळशीभर गोडेतेल द्यायचो. दोन्हीच वजन करायचो. भावाच्या हिशोबाने दोन्हीचे किती पैसे होताहेत ते मोजायचो. आणि वरचे पैसे त्या मधाच्या मालकिणीला द्यायचो. आपल्याला कळशीभर मधाच्या बदल्यात कळशीभर गोडेतेल तर मिळालच पण वर आणखी काही रक्कम पण मिळत आहे हे जेंव्हा त्यांच्या लक्षात आल तेंव्हा कुठे त्यांना समजल की संस्थेबरोबरचा हा व्यवहार आपल्या फायद्याचा आहे. पुढे भीमाशंकर, जांबोरी, काळेवाडी तसेच आतल्या भागातील आहूपे, आडिवरे, तळेघर या परिसरातील सर्व मध संस्था विकत घ्यायला लागली व आदिवासी नागरिकांना आधीपेक्षा चांगला भाव मिळायला लागला. नंतर संस्थेने मलबार हिल परिसरातील एक मधविक्रीच्या दुकानाचा पत्ता काढून तिथे गाळून शुध्द केलेला मध पुरवायला सुरुवात केली ज्यामूळे आदिवासी नागरिकांना आणखी चांगला भाव संस्था देऊ शकली.
*डॉ दादा गुजर* यांच्या नेतृत्वात सुरु झालेल्या या प्रकल्पात मी 1996 ते 1999 या काळात कार्यरत होतो. माझ्या आधी *कुसुम कर्णिक आणि आनंद कपूर* हे ज्येष्ठ कार्यकर्ते तिथे कार्यरत होते. माझ्या सोबत *बाळासाहेब बेंढारी, उदयसिंह चौधरी, सुभाष चव्हाण* आणि आणखी काही सहकारी होते. अशा सर्वांच्या प्रयत्नातून स्थानिक लोकांशी संवाद ठेवत, त्यांना निर्णयप्रक्रियेत सामील करुन घेत, आदिवासी जनसमूहात पुर्वापार चालत आलेल्या सामुहिकतेच्या परंपरांशी संस्थेच्या नव्या उपक्रमांची सांधेजोड करत खूप चांगलं काम तिथे घडल. आजही ते काम सुरु आहे. संपूर्ण डोंगर, दऱ्या असा तो पहाडी भाग आहे. आता तिथली परिस्थिती बरीच बदलली आहे. त्या भागात महादेव कोळी समाजाची बहुसंख्या आहे. त्यांची भाषा मराठीच असल्याने महाराष्ट्रातील इतर आदिवासी भागांपेक्षा तिथे काम करण तुलनेने सोप आहे……..
*तर मुद्दा असा आहे की तुमच्या आमच्या तथाकथित विकसित जगातले व्यवहार जर कुणाला समजत नसतील तर त्यावर हसताना किंवा विनोद करताना आपणच थोडा विचार करायला हवा की यात दोष कुणाचा?*
हे आजच्या आपल्या व्यवस्थेच अपयश आहे…. आपल अपयश आहे अस निदान मला तरी वाटत. *मला त्या व्हिडीओवर हसावस वाटल नाही.*
– सुभाष वारे
30 अॉगस्ट 2020

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