Case Study: Beti Hai JanawarNahi (She’s a Daughter Not Animal)

Tara (Changed Name) from Gudi Guda Ka Naka must be in her late 60’s, and she has seen many colors of life. While discussing the issue of violence of women she is often very comfortable defending domestic violence as a part of every families life and right of every husband. The first conversation with Tara included statements like “wo to marega, haqhai, hamaresasur ne saaskomara, hamarepati ne hamemara, ab wo bhimarega”. Somehow Tara completely rejected the entire concept of talking against domestic violence.

A workshop on violence against women was held in January 2015, in which Tara participated. She was extremely vocal and justified in how violence is acceptable, then she also participated in the response workshop in February. In march during a thematic meeting, on discussion regarding what affects and guides violent behavior, Tara said what we do is guided by our learnings of the past, what I have learned from my elders is what I transfer to my children, but now there is some change. I have been to two training programs and I feel that there is a bigger concern on this issue, than we perceive it only at the household level. When I sit in the meetings I speak with a changed confidence, I feel informed and empowered. Since domestic violence is so deeply rooted in our lives , we never thought this could change. My daughter has been married for 5 years, and was beaten by his husband almost everyday. My daughter left her home and came to me innumerous times, but I never had an alternative to suggest since my own through process was guided by my past.

Recently in the first week of march , Tara’s daughter again came back home, complaining of her husband beating her. Meena (Changed Name) was crying when her husband Samir (Changed Name) called to call her back home. Tara was furious this time and took it extremely heavy on Samir, she said “tumhebeti di thi, koi samaannahi, betihaijanawarnahi, tumhemaloomhaikitnekanoonhain agar koi biwikomartahai, mere paassabke number hain, abhiek phone karungi, to ghar se utha le jayenge, aursahikardenge”. This response from Tara was a shock for Samir, but a bigger sigh of relief for Tara as she was now becoming part of a change process, that has started to reject violence. Tara has demanded Samir’s family to come and apologize for his behavior and promise not to lay hand on Meena again. If so happens again she knows the police, protection officer, and other officials. Samir has apologized and so far its been a month, a peaceful no violence month.

Things do change, only if we try the right way! “Mooh see ke ab jee na paungi zara sabse ye keh do”

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