Banda. In the last two years, Bundelkhand’s Banda district has reported an increase in the number of cases of violence against women cases that are reported. Madhuri, a resident of Banda’s Tindwari block is among few women that have survived abuse and violence. ‘I feel like I have been given a second life. I want to live it now, on my own terms and free from my husband and his home.’
Madhuri has been staying with workers of a local women’s organization in Banda town for the last few weeks. Married in 2003, Madhuri reports, ‘I was abused by my brother-in-law. My husband ran a small general store. He would spend all his earnings in buying alcohol. He never objected to my brother-in-law’s behavior. Instead, he would beat me and the children. I had 4 children but now only 2 are alive.’
It was when she got pregnant a fifth time that Madhuri decided to leave her husband’s home in Badokhar Khurd and returned to Tindwari to live with her brother. ‘I needed money for treatment. My daughter had taken to begging on the streets. The neighbours pitched in and raised 2000 rupees for me but my brother spent it all on alcohol. I was at the District Hospital for 4 days during which doctors refused to treat me. I left and delivered the baby at home, on my own. The baby died 5 minutes after being born.’
A senior activist working with the local organization Vanangana said that when Madhuri was brought to them in Banda from Tindwari, her condition was very weak. ‘Doctors at the District Hospital did not want to take up such a critical case. She was jaundiced and had typhoid. We had to convince the doctors here to treat her. Her 8-year old daughter Jyoti was also diagnosed with pneumonia and jaundice. Doctors at the District Hospital referred her to Kanpur but we were able to get both mother nad daughter treated in Banda, though privately.
‘I feel like I have been given a second life. I want to live it now, on my own terms and free from my husband and his home.’
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