Amita: looking for an escape
Amita is the mother of one of a preschool students in Mumbai, encouraged by the teachers who were previously part of the Mumbai Smiles team and who now lead their own project. Beyond having a great progress at a level of autonomy, which makes us proud, we continue to have relationships and communication with the teachers, and this is how it has reached our team, which works to peacefully combat sexist violence, in this case.
She is 26 years old, and has been married to her husband for six years. Her parents died when she was little and despite having 5 siblings, they hardly have a relationship. She studied, although she did not pursue higher education and before getting married she worked in a clothing store.
Her wedding: it seemed like a moment that was going to turn her life around. She would finally have a family that she would feel the strength and support of! And it certainly took a turn, everything got worse.
After getting married, her husband began to treat her badly. And her brothers-in-law turned a blind eye from this reality, which made him feel legitimate to do so. She felt very alone.
After a year the situation got worse, he started drinking, he didn’t give her money, and of course, he continued to treat her badly. When he discovered that she had a lover, from then on the only attention he paid to her was to hit her or to abuse her.
As a result of these abuses, she gave a birth to her daughter. Amita alone, has taken care of her as best as she could. And finally, after six years of nightmare, she fell ill with tuberculosis. A life without resources, full of worries, in a hostile environment…and sick. Her doctor admitted her to Shivadi Hospital, where she stayed for a long time. The first few months her husband visited her, but he soon stopped doing since last November. When she called, he didn’t attend her call, he would passed it to her daughter. And finally, when she was discharged, he din’t let her come home. The hospital team advised her to look for a foster home. Amita sought help at her daughter’s school, and that was when she was put in contact with Mumbai Smiles.
At the same time, Amita had gone to the house of a neighbor who supported her temporarily by offering their shelter, which allowed her to have contact with her daughter. So we quickly started looking for accommodation but we needed to confirm that she had overcome the illness. The situation was complicated, because we could not access the documents that the doctor had. We could managed to complete all the paperwork for her and could get accommodation for her. This is the first step, the second, if she is ready, to take legal action against her husband, then we will accompany her in this process.
We will keep informing you about this case, which we do not want to go unpunished, and about the work done which will help Amita to have a dignified and peaceful life with her daughter.