HARD WORK At 68, Nirmala Still Cuts Cane
At the age of 68, Nirmala Wati still cuts cane to support her ailing husband. Growing up in a strict and struggling family has instilled in Ms Wati the will to work hard.
She never had the opportunity to attend school, but that did not stop her from trying to provide for her family.
Ms Wati is married with one daughter and three grandchildren. They are from Tovata in Wailevu.
She and her husband have been working in the cane farm belonging to Mohammed Iqbal in Solove, Wailevu.
When her husband fell sick two years ago, Ms Wati decided to continue working in the cane farm.
Ms Wati wakes up early in the morning and joins the cane cutters at five o’clock until 10.30.
She then returns home and does her house chores, attends to her husband before returning to the cane field to load the cane to be carted to the mill.
Farm owner, Mohammed Iqbal said he provided a home for the couple after they were chased from their previous settlement.
“We all treat her with respect as she is the oldest and treats us like her son,” Mr Iqbal said.
“She carries out her work like everyone else and enjoys a salary of $300 every cane paying week.
“Not many women of her age would be seen cutting cane in the field. She is strong and healthy. She complains if she has nothing to do, so she will aways keep herself busy.”
The cane cutters with Nirmala Wati (sitting) while loading the cane at Solove, Wailevu on June 23, 2020.