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.”