Selina Micheal:Breaking Gender Barriers

Kochi edition of Eastern Bhoomika 2018 showcased the story of a woman who has broken the gender barriers through her job. Firoz Meeran, Managing Director of Eastern Group relished honoring Selina Micheal, another symbol of boldness for breaking gender barriers.

The deserted pathway through the wood leads visitors to abandoned Thrikkakara municipality crematorium in Kochi. One of the busiest cremation ground, we could see an unusual sight – a women who does final rites at crematorium. That’s 48 years-old Selina Micheal, who is care taker of the crematorium for the last 11 years, who is no more scared of the old buildings and burial grounds.

Selina was brave enough to take over the right to manage crematorium which isn’t a popular choice for people. Her unusual career choice did take her brothers’ disagreement that lacked support. Being a single parent, she had no other option to raise her daughters. First few months were difficult for Selina as she wasn’t familiar with the cremation rites and atmosphere. The major hurdle she faced was handling the grief of living as she used to cry herself with the beloveds of the dead person.

As soon as she receives a phone call alerting a dead body is on the way, she leaves home to prepare for the final rites. Within next few minutes she cleans the grounds and arranges firewood for cremation. The work she carries out is not an easy one. With an unusual strong mind, Selina have cremated bodies even at 3 am. She is alert to ensure bodies burn properly during the cremation.

Selina is one among the few women to manage spaces from which women have been traditionally excluded while not being expressly banned. With strong determination, Selina put her heart and soul into what she was doing. Breaking a traditionally male-dominated domain, Selina’s life is an inspiration for other women who dream of bold career choices.

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