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Interview: In search of justice

March 20, 2011

Snapshots: Woman: India Today

Interview: In search of justice

“I was born in a family where I was wanted,” says Mitu Khurana, 34, paediatrician, activist and the first woman to file a case against her husband and his family under the pre-natal diagnostic techniques (PNDT) Act. Her life was perfect till the day she got married to an orthopaedic surgeon. “Even during my courtship with him, I missed the clear signs of a mama’s boy,” says Khurana.

From the day she stepped into her house, the taunts about insufficient dowry began. “I thought things will change eventually. And they did, but only for the worse,” she says. When she discovered that she was carrying twins, her in-laws sedated her to get a sexdetermination test. When they realised that the twins were both girls, she was asked to abort or at least get one child aborted in-utero. She filed her first case during pregnancy.

But she also tried her best to save her marriage for the sake of her daughters. “On April 10, 2008, he threw me out of the house in the middle of the night,” says Khurana. After that it was a long struggle of filing RTIs, writing letters to the Prime Minister and President and approaching the courts. As she continues to fight the cases against her ex-husband for her daughters’ lives as well as her own, she doesn’t want to give up. “Even if I can inspire one woman to fight for herself, I would be a proud woman,” she says.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Gabriella Botto permalink
    March 21, 2011 2:45 am

    I am so proud and so happy to know about people like you. You are an example for a lot of women in the world. Never give up.

  2. April 6, 2011 3:51 pm

    It is pathetic to know that nothing has changed. I saw you and your father on CNN-IBN and wondered about where are we heading to. I am a daughter too. And I know what it means to be a “girl”. Fortunately my parents have never discriminated me.

    It is shocking to know that people want a son, not a daughter and can go to any limits for it. Nothing has changed – and they call themselves “educated”.

  3. Charis permalink
    April 21, 2011 2:46 pm

    Mitu, I just learned of your story, and I admire you so much for your bravery and what you are doing for Indian women. I hope hat you have support and I wish you success and peace in your future endeavors. I will continue to keep abreast of this issue and see how I can help.

  4. enakshi permalink
    May 7, 2011 6:42 am

    beyond words …

  5. Seema Vaid permalink
    May 13, 2011 4:36 pm

    Dear Mitu,

    I read about you today and am moved beyond words. I salute your courage and fortitude in the face of such difficult circumstances. Can only imagine what you must have gone through .. your daughters will be so proud of you when they are old enough to understand what you did.

    I am also very ashamed that such biases exist in so called educated families in India. What is wrong with people !! This is especially shocking that you and your husband are both doctors .. if something like this could happen to someone like you think of what some other less educated and less independent women have to go through.

    Please continue your struggle .. also let me know if there is any way i can help . I live in the US ( California ) , which has a very strong Indian community.

    BTW, the western culture does not discriminate against girls .. there are families with 3-4 girls and the Mom and Dad are very happy and proud to have them ….Such a wonderful attitude … hopefully India and Indians will change as well.

    Take care and stay strong ,

    Seema

  6. Alicia permalink
    June 8, 2011 12:46 pm

    In fact, many families in the USA prefer girls. Though I have never met anyone who would consider abortion for sex selection or giving a baby up for adoption due to the “wrong gender.” I am really saddened by gender attitudes in India.

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