NOTE: This post has been written by Divesh Kaul with additional information from Devaki the CSI GRC’s programme manager (Child Survival India Gender Resource Center).
Geeta’s and her husband’s weeding was conducted by her family in a village of Uttar Pradesh (where the husband’s family lives). In search of better livelihood prospects the couple migrated to Delhi. Her husband however could not hold down a regular job and he also turned out to be a spendthrift, alcoholic, and a womaniser. Unable to pay the rent of their house for 4-5 months in a row, the husband ran away from the rented house and disappeared for a while.
This matter was reported to CSI’s Gender Resource Center. Their paralegal team arranged for a mediation session with the resolution of the husband agreeing to live with the wife and paying maintenance for the household expenses. The husband came back, however it did not take too long before he started regularly “disappearing” again.
Additionally, Geeta’s in-laws filed a complaint in their local family court in UP (Uttar Pradesh) that claimed that Geeta had left the house of her husband and in-laws, that she no longer wanted to live with them, and she had stolen some articles from their house. The court sought her reply. Geeta then went to UP to attend the proceedings and presented her side of the story: that she was pregnant and that her in-laws were troubling her. The court favoured her.
The CSI GRC arranged two additional mediation sessions for the couple and has also called her in-laws. Devaki feels that everything becomes normal when they intervene, but this is temporary. Some weeks after mediation, the husband and in-laws return to their previous position against Geetha. She thinks there are two reasons for that: one, Geeta’s husband is one who runs away from his responsibilities and two, her in-laws are playing foul.
Now the matter is sub judice, in a Delhi family court, and GRC is helping her with the facilitation of a lawyer.
*Footnote: The CSI Gender Resource Center promotes women empowerment by providing legal counselling, mediation, vocation training to women above 16, health, education and supporting Self Help Groups (community based micro-credit/finance).