A Haryana woman’s demand better job opportunities for female residents in her village met with some serious ridicule by the state’s chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar. “I request you to set up a factor to generate better employment for the women of our village,” the woman said, underlining the difficulties they face if they have to migrate outside. “Next time when another [spacecraft] goes to the moon, the Chandrayaan-4, will send you on it. Now, sit down,” Khattar replied (video above) mocking her. The Haryana chief minister made the remarks while he was attending one of his public outreach programme ‘Jan Samvad’ in Hisar to listen to the grievances of the local people.

During the public meeting, as the woman put politely made the request, the chief minister was seeing deflecting by talking about the self-help groups set up in the villages, instead. “How many self-help groups are there in your village? How many women are part of it?” he asked, posing counter-questions to her. As the woman answered that there are 110 women in those groups, Khattar stated they must have received loans through it as well. “Yes, we get the loans but there should be jobs as well,” the woman responded. In his reply, Khattar went on to highlight how more than 55,000 self-help groups operate in the state, providing assistance and job opportunities to over five lakh women.

“How much do the women in your group make?” the chief minister asked. The woman replied saying they earn enough to help their families but would like a better opportunity, and requested if a factory can be set up in the village of Bhatol Jattan to generate further employment. As the women tried to stand her ground, and continued to make her demands, Khattar replied poking fun at her, mentioning the next lunar mission. His unusual remark met with laughter from the crowd.

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