Thursday, December 21, 2017


(Patna) “We are part of a self-help group. A number of women in our village come together to make baskets, home decor and other items from these straws. We finish our household work and then we sit together to weave.”


(Women in Self-Help Groups: These are stories of women living across Bihar who are affiliated with various self-help groups. Women in small towns and villages gather together to initiate small-scale businesses to improve their socio-economic status.)

Sunday, December 10, 2017


(Patna) “I enjoy this work and being independent and busy.”


(Women in Self-Help Groups: These are stories of women living across Bihar who are affiliated with various self-help groups. Women in small towns and villages gather together to initiate small-scale businesses to improve their socio-economic status.)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


(Patna) “We sell channa (black chick peas), sattu (chick pea flour), besan (gram flour) badi and dalauri (snack items made of rice and lentils). We are part of an organisation where we make all this and we keep the profit from the sales. We use our time and our own money to make these items.”

(Women in Self-Help Groups: These are stories of women living across Bihar who are affiliated with various self-help groups. Women in small towns and villages gather together to initiate small-scale businesses to improve their socio-economic status.)

Sunday, November 19, 2017


(Patna) “As a kid I used to live in a village. There were rumours of a ghost in the village. If somebody fell down from a tree, people used to claim that a ghost had possessed him. This led to more scary thoughts which got entrenched in my mind. Many years ago one of my aunt died and I had to go to my sister’s place. My sister was so scared that she held my hand to go to the other rooms or even to the bathroom. I was scared too. That night we all slept in one room: the kids, my sister, the domestic help and me. But my sister didn’t let anyone sleep all night. She felt that our aunt is standing behind her. It was one of the scariest night of our lives.

People used to talk about a headless person in our village. As soon as it got dark, people in the entire village would scream that the headless person is coming. Everyone would rush inside this house and quickly shut their doors. They would light a big fire right outside their doors because it was believed the headless person didn’t come near the fire. But who exactly was the headless, I don’t know till date. This happened when we were still kids, a really long time ago. Since then, I have never been alone at night except once when my husband had an operation and he and my son were in the hospital. I kept all the lights on the entire night and kept a piece of iron close to me to ward off evil. I couldn’t sleep. As soon as I would start dozing off, I used to get up wondering if there was any ghost around. That was the only time in my entire life that I have stayed by myself all night. 

I feel scared as soon as it gets dark. I don’t feel scared if there are people around me. If you ask me to sleep in a room alone, I won’t be able to even when someone is in the next room.” 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


(New Delhi) “I have been studying here since I was a kid, from the time I was only 5-6 years old. Now I am 12 years old. I study everything that is taught here and the books that we get from school. My parents work in agricultural field. I want to become an engineer.”
(Stories from Under the Bridge School, New Delhi: Watch more about this school on YouTube: https://youtu.be/mGMBjLmzK04)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


(New Delhi) “I have been studying here for last 2-3 years. I study everything here: Hindi, English, Maths. We take out time to play too.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


(New Delhi) “I have been studying here for last one year. I have learnt a lot of things since I have started coming here. Rajesh Sir got my admission done here in this tuition. Now I am going to class 10th. I have been coming here since I was in class 8. This place provides free tuition, there is no money charged here. I come here to study and when I get time then I teach kids. I have been teaching for last one month. I enjoy teaching here. I want to study to become a lawyer. ”


(Stories from Under the Bridge School, New Delhi: Watch more about this school on YouTube: https://youtu.be/mGMBjLmzK04)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


(New Delhi) “My father works as a security guard and has late night shifts everyday and my mother works too. I like studying here. Everybody here is my friend.”


(Stories from Under the Bridge School, New Delhi: Watch more about this school on YouTube: https://youtu.be/mGMBjLmzK04)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


(New Delhi) “I have been studying here for last 2-3 years. I have been teaching for last 1-2 months. I really enjoy teaching. I want to become a teacher.”

(Stories from Under the Bridge School, New Delhi: Watch more about this school on YouTube: https://youtu.be/mGMBjLmzK04)

Monday, September 25, 2017


(New Delhi) “I have been studying here for 2-3 years. My parents work in agricultural fields. We don’t have to pay any fees here. I love to apply mehendi (henna design).”

(Stories from Under the Bridge School, New Delhi: Watch more about this school on YouTube: https://youtu.be/mGMBjLmzK04)

Monday, September 18, 2017


(New Delhi) “I came here two years ago.”


Her teacher: “She is good in studies. Once she decides to learn something then she quickly learns it. She knows more than the class fifth students here. She knows everything counting, name of months and days.” 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


(New Delhi) “I have been studying here for a long time. Rani is my only friend here.”

(Stories from Under the Bridge School, New Delhi: To learn more about this school follow us on YouTube: 


Wednesday, September 6, 2017


(New Delhi) “I have been teaching here for over seven months. I teach almost all the subjects for students up to the fifth grade level and I teach Maths to the students of 10th grade. 

I am a housewife. My kids are all grown up now. My son is doing B.Tech and my daughter has just finished her class 10. I felt free from most of the household chores and I had free time which I wanted to put it to good use. I had heard a lot about the Under the Bridge school including interviews of Rajesh Sharma (who started the school) on the radio. After hearing about this school, I was sure that I wanted to go there and help in teaching poor kids. My husband also encouraged me to take out time for this noble cause. So the family was very supportive and encouraging and very soon I started working here. 

Children here study diligently. A little effort is required on both their and our part. Sometimes students studying in sixth and seventh grade of local school are unable to read simple Hindi. So we need to have a very patient approach and explain to them same things again and again.”  


(Stories from Under the Bridge School, New Delhi: To learn more about this school follow us on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg4YXXK61dyve6V_QNmYYLg)

Thursday, August 17, 2017


With this picture of incredible women who survived acid attacks, I am starting the stories that I collected between January to April 2017. I would also take this opportunity to thank all my readers for their love and support and encouraging words. 


If you want to share your thoughts or story or you know of anyone who would like to share their story with For Women In India community, then please do leave a comment or message with your name and name of your city. As and when I get a chance to visit your city, I will definitely get in touch with you. 

Keep smiling and stay positive. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


An Ode to Stories from 2016: I cannot thank enough all these incredible women who took a plunge with me and remain a source of inspiration for me and for women at large. To all these amazing women of India: THANK YOU


I hope that my friends, family and our community here at For Women In India will be happy to know that we now have an online resource centre for women who are facing any kind of distress. Please do check it out and share your thoughts on how we can do better for women in our country. 

Monday, July 31, 2017


(New Delhi) “During my trainings and discussion on laws related to immoral trafficking, I always ask participants who is immoral in these cases and the answer is vague. My next question is how many names do we have for sex workers? They come out with many names. Then I ask them how many names do they have for the person who goes to her? They respond with “client” and “customer” which are considered respectable. 

My next question is why a woman does such a thing. The general response is that women want to earn ‘easy money’. I take them through the statistics to explain what “easy way of earning money” entails. 

Sex is either for pleasure or for love or within the social commitment of marriage. But the sex which is sold has no element of attraction and does not bring any obligation inherent in a marriage. On the contrary, it is violent and damaging. Statistics show an average sex worker will have sex 12-14 times in a day; there are different kind of people: diseased, dirty, violent and perverse. On top of that, increasing numbers of disabled children, mostly deaf and mute, are entering the market. 

Statistics also reveal that the market is for younger girls. By the time they are 30-35 years old they are out of market. Not every sex worker can become a mausi. They are so severely damaged that they either die or beg. But most of them actually just die. Another reason why a woman sells sex is because she is not left with any other option.” (3/3)

Monday, July 24, 2017


(New Delhi) “Many people, especially from the law enforcement agencies, say during legal trainings that 90% of working women are lying about domestic abuse- and for some reason its always ‘90%’ . I always ask them that how did they calculate 90% but they do not have an answer. 

One of the things that I always tell people especially those who disbelieve that there is violence against women is, that when you pick up a post-mortem report of a woman who has died in her in-laws’ home, there is a long list of ante-mortem injuries recorded. It is always very chilling when you notice it. These injuries range from a week old to months old. These women were facing active physical violence for a long time which ultimately resulted in their death. Bringing people to the law to face punishment is necessary,  but the important thing is that when she is alive, she should be kept safe and free from violence.” (2/3)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


(New Delhi) “I used to be a full-time practicing lawyer but I always felt it was a limited application of what I could do as a lawyer. Now I train grassroots activists, the police, the state agencies, people working in NGOs and anyone who needs to use the law.

My first workshop with rural and semi-literate women was a defining moment for me. When I saw the women making the co-relation between the laws and their lives, I knew what I wanted to do professionally. I felt as if the universe had conspired to get me this opportunity and I felt like I always wanted to do this work. 

Interacting with rural or illiterate women is a jump in your own learning. Their minds are uncluttered and free from forced logic and ideology. There is a fascination with the fact that what they find reasonable and logical is also written in our laws. One of the earliest examples was in the early 90s, soon after an Act was passed to restrict a Muslim woman’s right to maintenance. When we started discussing that, as per a new law, a Muslim woman has a limited right to maintenance from her husband, all participants, Hindus and Muslims, objected and threw back our own session on Rule of Law and constitutional limitations on the power to make laws, arguing that when no law is made at the expense of someone else’s rights, then how did they make such a law? We have not yet come across a single woman who supports restrictions on the right to maintenance for Muslim women. They come up with interesting points like, “when, in a Muslim marriage, they ask the bride for “kabuli (acceptance),, then why not for a divorce? Here is a simple logic in one clear sentence.These are all amazing jurisprudential responses. 

Similarly, when we were doing a programme in Rajasthan, there was a really old woman who would always sit with a long veil. We gave them a case study suggesting that  a law is made that men can roam around any time of day or night, but women, after sunset must be chaperoned by a male, even if it’s a small boy.  The old woman just threw back her veil and asked with blazing eyes as to who has made such a  law. This reaction is pure instinct. I work to bring out what they already know.

Every interaction is a personal growth for me and is an avenue to reach out to more and more people at different levels to explain the beauty of the law and the Constitution. I take every platform: sitting by the roadside or in a 5-star hotel. Everyone needs legal information.” (1/3)

Thursday, July 6, 2017


(Patna) “When my daughter was a month old, we found out that she had a rare blood disorder, and that the only cure was a bone-marrow transplant.  We had to go to a specialised hospital in a different city for treatment. The doctors told us that she would be treated after she turned two years old. Until the transplant was carried out, we took her to hospital every month for blood transfusion. I saw the fear in her eyes every time we entered the hospital premises because the transfusion was very painful for her. She would cry relentlessly and wouldn’t climb the stairs to  go into the doctor’s room. We grown-up’s get scared about injections so obviously she gets scared even more. 

A child’s birth is the happiest moment in any parent’s life, and a parent does everything for their child’s well being and happiness. But to see the same child in pain is very difficult. We just thank god for giving us such a beautiful daughter. She is very playful and doesn’t show any sign of being anemic. Overall she is very healthy. So we thank God that things are not worse. The ailment could have been something untreatable but thankfully it was not so.

We waited two years for her bone marrow transplant. Everyday, we watched her struggle and struggled ourselves over her pain. Our coping with the situation was difficult too because the doctors had informed us that while the transplant was successful in most cases, sometimes the children don’t survive.


During the course of her check-up, I saw many children who didn’t survive the transplant. The stress of watching all that was unbearable and endless. Last year, my daughter was admitted for treatment. She survived the transplant but she still had to be protected from infection. We were confined to just one room and for months lived in complete isolation. But all that is in the past. She is now back home and is healthy.”

Thursday, June 29, 2017


(New Delhi) “I am a fashion designer and I am trying to establish my own brand. It is very hard to establish your own business in today’s world where everything is quite expensive. Designing is not just limited to creativity. It needs a lot of marketing and business acumen to promote your product. We are using the rich fabric of India which is completely hand woven by cottage industry workers. Through my brand, I try to promote fair trade for weavers and ensure they get regular work and a fair price. I help them incorporate modern designs in the traditional handicraft. I feel very strongly that Indian handicrafts should be kept alive and not get lost in western fashion. 

I am also trying to help transgender community through my business. They have been denied the most basic rights for a long time. I am planning to have photo shoots with models from the transgender community and help them through my business. 

A friend of mine had participated in Mrs India contest and she suggested that I should participate. Even my husband was quite supportive. I felt it was a good chance to promote the social causes that I already worked for.  As part of the contest requirement, I further got an opportunity to work with an NGO on a project under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. I got a chance to educate underprivileged children about basic hygiene and spend time with them. I also got a chance to spread awareness about violence against women. We always need an opportunity to challenge ourselves and see how far you can push yourself. I was one of the finalists in the contest and won the title of Mrs India Creative. I further went on to win Miss Asia Universe first runner up. 

I feel life is a battle and everyone is busy fighting their own battles. I thank God even for my bad experiences that I had to go through. I am wiser now. There is no end to learning; you are always growing as a person.”

Friday, June 23, 2017


(New Delhi) “I am a practicing Supreme Court lawyer. I take up any kind of case that I am offered. I also handle pro bono human rights cases. Currently, my cases range from giving legal assistance to people from North East India trying to assimilate in Delhi to helping a student from Other Backward Classes (OBC) category to get admission in JNU, cases of sexual harassment etc. to name a few. I also work with an organisation that reunites runaway children or abused children with their families. Recently, I accompanied two girls in Bihar and in Mumbai to reunite with their respective families. We walked miles through fields in remote area of Samastipur District in Bihar to reunite the girl and found her family living in abject poverty.  I take these situations as a challenge to do more. 

I come from a conservative, middle class family in a small town in Bihar. I studied in UP and now I am practicing law independently in Delhi. In the last 17½ years of my practice, I have faced a lot of rigorous challenges. So every case that I win is a unique experience and a special achievement for me.

People often tell me that the law and order situation in Bihar is bad. But now I feel that I must go back to my soil, Bihar. I want to help children there who have a lot of potential but have not gotten any opportunity to build their life or career. I may join politics to reach out to larger section of the society but that’s my long term plan. At the end of the day, I want to help as many people as I can.” 

Thursday, June 15, 2017


(Bhopal) “I am studying law in Indore and I am here for my internship.”

Sunday, June 4, 2017


(New Delhi) “From the beginning we knew that something was different about our first born son. But we realised it with certainty when he started going to play-school in Gorakhpur. He was able to respond verbally to everything but he was not able to do well while writing. We were advised to take our son to Delhi as our town was not equipped to deal with such cases. It was a good decision since people around me in Gorakhpur constantly told me that my son was “mad” and it was emotionally very difficult for me to hear it. So we moved to Delhi permanently and started to consult one doctor after another; from there my son’s real struggle began.

He had squint eyes and problems in walking as well. He was treated by eye specialists and physiotherapists. He received help from psychologists and also received classes from a special tutor who taught him to hold a pencil. After a while, things started getting better and he started going to regular school. But when he reached class 5, he had a bad teacher who showed no patience with my son. My son became very quiet. When my husband and I tried to discus the matter with the teacher, the teacher rudely told us that she cannot deal with children like my son. So we took him out of that school and sent him to another school for vocational training. The class teacher in his new school was very supportive; on her suggestion we went to a spastic society where the tutors helped and motivated us a lot. My son cleared his class 10th exams through open boards and he will finish his class 12th exams soon. For last one year he has also been working at a cafe where he takes order through computer and is very efficient. 

People stare at us and my son has to hear comments like “are you mad?” or “are you blind?" from complete strangers on the street. People tell me, “What is the need to worry about your child when he doesn’t have brains?”. This really hurts me a lot. I know my son has brains. Some people refuse to understand that my child is special to me because these children are very sensitive and more caring than others. For instance, if I have a headache, my son will come and ask time and again if he can massage my head, or request that I eat something. These are the things that other people can’t see.

Earlier, I used to get angry and cry a lot because people in our society think it’s a curse to have special children. There is no acceptance that he is also a person. He is different but he has a brain and he can use it but takes a little more time to do things. Our society can be really cruel; I guess they need knowledge.” 

Sunday, May 28, 2017


(New Delhi) “I have been working in the development sector for 19 years with marginalized section of the society including women, children and disabled people. I am a trained social worker and a lawyer and fighting for the rights of others is my passion. I cannot tolerate injustice being done to anyone including me. I believe if I cannot fight for my own rights, I will never be able to fight for others. This spirit keeps me moving and sometimes makes me angry in situations beyond my control. I wish I was a much calmer person but at the same time I would also never want the fire inside me to die. My parents are my strength, coming from a Muslim family and unlike rudimentary belief, they gave me a lot of freedom to choose and decide what I wanted. I am an independent woman and it’s because of them.


My two pets Bebo and Sultan are love of my life and my life would be meaningless without them. I have learnt to be always happy with small things in life and to forget all the sorrows that life keeps throwing. I receive unconditional and eternal love from them. I believe they are going to meet me after this life also to stay together ever after.” 

Friday, May 19, 2017


(New Delhi) “I am from Rajasthan. I sell jewelry here.”

Sunday, May 7, 2017

(New Delhi) “I am a beautician. I have been working for the last 18 years. When I was very young, my mother arranged for some money so that I could learn the work at a local beauty salon. My skills improved and I started getting my own clients. 

At the age of 16, I fell in love and got married against everyones’ wishes. One day when my husband was not home, my in-laws threw me out of the house because they were unhappy that they did not get any dowry. I literally had to live on the street at that time as my parents had severed all ties with me. My father never spoke to me after my marriage, and for many years, he forbade everyone in the family to talk to me. When I left my in-laws’ house, I had nothing with me at all. There was no way to get in touch with my husband as during those days there were no mobile phones. I felt I had only two options: die or work. I chose to work. 

During that time, I would spend the days working, and at night, sleep at a client’s place. I started looking for a place to live but nobody wanted to rent a flat to a young girl. So I had to tell landlords that my husband was out of town temporarily and would join me later. Somehow, I finally found a place to stay.

One-and-a half months later, my husband and I found each other. We started living in the rented accommodation and very soon I conceived. My husband never helped me financially as he gave all his earnings to his parents. I had to work till the day before delivery of the baby because I needed money for the baby too. I had to start working again after only 6 days from the delivery. After all these years I am still independent running my household with my own income. I have also been able to build my house with my own savings.

I really enjoy my work. All my clients are good people. They recommended me to one another and I built a long list of clients. I enrolled myself to learn make-up and other beauty courses from one of the best institutes in India, while I was still working full-time. I have not stopped learning new techniques.

A few years ago I found out that a couple, a distant relative, died in an accident. None of their relatives wanted to keep the couples’ children. At the time, the daughter was 11 years old, and the son was 4 years old. So I brought them home and got them admitted into good schools. My youngest son doesn’t know that he is not my biological child. They have been living with me for 4-5 years. Now things have finally settled down for me. My children are very supportive. They all are a bit naughty but that’s all fun.

I started with Rs. 300 as my first pay and I didn’t even own a needle. My in-laws, who now live with me, are dependent on me. They know that I have raised my family and built a home single-handedly. My father (he is no more now) never spoke to me after my wedding but it always lifts my spirits when people tell me that my father always praised me in front of other people. He used to tell them that I was his the most hard-working child and that I bought a house with my own hard-earned money.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


(Patna) “I study in LKG. My sister is in UKG. Both my parents work in my school.”

Thursday, April 13, 2017


(New Delhi) “I am a Political Science student. I like reading and dancing. College changes your hobbies. In college, you have lots of things to do such as working for festivals and other events. You have an active social life. 


My plans for the future are a little sketchy. If it were up to me, then I would like to become a lawyer and work for the rights of refugees. If it were up to my parents, they would want me to be an IAS/IPS officer.”

Saturday, April 8, 2017


(New Delhi) “My husband and in-laws started troubling me within 3-4 days of the wedding. My husband used to hit me while my in-laws used to taunt me that the dowry my family gave was neither sufficient nor to their taste. They complained that a motorcycle was not given in the dowry. I was thrown out of the house during my pregnancy. My relatives tried talking to my in-laws to settle the matter. I also went to an NGO for trying a reconciliation with my husband. If someone tried to counsel them, they responded that they were the boy’s family, and so they would not give in. My son is now two and a half years old but they have never ever asked after the child.”


Saturday, March 18, 2017


(New Delhi) “If you are a single girl from the North-East living on your own, you can expect to have problems with housing. There is discrimination at several levels. People are hesitant to show you the house because they are not interested in you as a tenant. They also ask you a hundred questions. These are personal and nosey questions such as: Who will visit you? How long will you stay out? Will you be back home by 10 pm? It is none of their business. After finding a place to live, you can only hope that you don’t have to go house hunting in the near future.” 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


(New Delhi) “I sell jewelry at India Gate. I usually earn around Rupees 100 to 500 everyday. There are also some days when I am not able to sell anything. We obviously have problems selling our goods here as we have to run if police or any government officials shows up. My husband is a daily wager. Sometimes he gets work and somedays he does not.”

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

(New Delhi) “Right now, my personal challenge is in managing my child and work at the same time. Sometimes, I feel guilty about not spending enough time with my daughter. But, in the long run, I feel she will respect me more for my struggles. I feel I shouldn't judge myself for having a purpose in life. After having a baby, I have made major adjustments to my life but I don’t regret it. On the weekends, my husband and I try to take our daughter out to the park. Even if we don't take her out, we just play with her and spend time with her.”

Monday, February 20, 2017


(Guwahati) “I am a development worker. I have been working for the last nine years. I was born and brought up in Tezpur. My baby is one year old and has been coming to my office with me since he was four months. I work in a women friendly organization and everyone at my workplace has been very supportive. One can manage critical situations working with a wonderful lot of people. 


One stereotype I encounter frequently in my line of work is that most people view the NGO sector as being mostly for women. It is perceived that issues pertaining to violence against women are only the domain of women’s organisation. But I believe that women’s rights should be seen as a cross-cutting theme on any issue that we work on, be it, civil, political, social, cultural or economic rights.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017


(Shillong) “I work here during school holidays. I am in Class 9. I want to do Hotel Management.”

Monday, January 30, 2017


(Guwahati) “I work in the social justice sector. I started my career in a women’s rights organisation and have continued to work there for the last 17 years. As of now I am responsible for different kinds of tasks in the organization including management-related work. My focus area is on gender-based discrimination and violence against women, especially, issues like domestic violence, witch hunting, and sexual harassment at the workplace. 

In the 1970s and early 1980s, everyone including women in our family, were volunteering for the Assam movement led by the student leaders. I was also taken for these “raasta roko” and “rail roko” protests to assert our rights. Also, I saw this culture of volunteering. In my family, my aunt, grandmother and my mother volunteered for women’s societies and gave vocational trainings on sewing and knitting or making of pickles and jams. I knew I wanted to work on women related issues beyond these vocational trainings.

When I was a student, I had to visit a lot of villages in Assam as part of my course. I would walk into people’s homes and talk to the women. I would ask them questions like: Do you like to work? What are the barriers that doesn’t allow you to work? Why don’t you enjoy your work? A lot of women would respond that given an opportunity, they would like to work outside their household and some others would state that they were allowed to work but they were not allowed to enjoy income from their work. At that point of time, my understanding of women’s rights was not so organized, and I would just simply phrase it as women were not so empowered.

During the course of my study, I met a group of women’s rights activist led by Ben Mahi (Monisha Behl). They would organize talks and seminars and this was a platform which allowed me to raise certain issues which impacted the women in the villages. Gradually, I got insights into a lot of issues of regarding gender, law and feminism. 

When I started working 17 years ago, the conflict in Assam was at its peak and we were working in the villages. The para-military forces would come and question us and throw away our files. Once I was taking a group of women to visit a village. A bandh had been called on that day but we did not get the information in the village and so we went out. The para-military forces, which were patrolling the highways, asked all the woman to get out from the vehicle, and get in their vehicles. Some of the tactics of these para-military forces were to threaten women of a particular community to subdue the entire community. We were stranded, interrogated, and were not allowed to move on. Those were stressful times but we stayed in the village and continued our work.

During one of the worst conflict in Kokrajhar, I went there without telling my family. I still remember that one of the sisters from a Convent, who was helping us in our work, informed me that the situation was very tense, and it would be better if she went on her own to help the affected tribal community. But I was firm that if the situation was bad, then it was equally bad for everyone and we finally went together to distribute relief material to the tribal community. It was a challenge to reach out to people and then to come back to do your reporting and advocacy accordingly. These were a few instances of the challenges that I faced earlier on in my work. You have to believe in yourself and trust the people you work with.

Recently, we did a study on domestic violence in rural Assam. The idea was to document cases of domestic violence to do away with the myth that women in rural Assam are free from domestic abuses. We documented the worst forms of physical and sexual abuse. Our objective was to bring the focus of the government to this report and implement certain recommendations for women’s safety within the household. We mobilize women and provide them with legal information, for example, what are the new laws that have been implemented and what can they do in a situation of distress and abuse? A half-an-hour talk empowers 100 women with latest information and it equips them with new skills.


When people argue that “women misuse law”, I ask them what makes them think that. Let us assume that women misuse the law. Who doesn’t misuse the law? Man? Which law is not being misused: AFSPA? I can go on and on. There are other typical misconceptions like  women are women’s enemies.”


“There are some funny moments too. For instance, once while I was traveling to Kohima, I slept off and missed my stop and reached Manipur. People in the border area of Manipur were all happy to see two girls. Another time, I went for a fashion show and a journalist, who covers stories and events for my organisation, saw me in my outrageously colourful outfit and asked me in shock “You are here!”. Somehow, he could’t believe that I was attending a fashion show. I often go to fashion shows and concerts and I take my child for plays. After 5 p.m. my priority is my daughter.

For a working women, it is a challenge to balance home and work. But first, one just needs to enjoy work and second learn to prioritize. Identify what is the priority now and learn to say “no”, whether at the workplace or in personal life. Today I have a supportive family. My husband and daughter take charge of family chores when I am traveling. I discover new things in life every second. I am still growing.”