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Story of A Battling Mother

July 14, 2011

Story of A Battling Mother

“Story of a Mother, which inspired & encourage us to fight for injustice and teaches that whether we have high degrees , education , job or business , wealth or anything but if we believe in sex discrimination then we are one of the least person on earth who disrespect the life.” easytoact

“Social Change is the Need of our country, people still living on the wrong side and we have to end these evils of society at any cost because these things make our society weak .Attempt & fight to make these social changes & reforms will make our country strong .” easytoact

Written By Mittu Khurana Herself

“This is not a personal battle. The easiest thing for me to do today is to withdraw my cases and settle down with my daughters peacefully. The only reason I am not doing this is- if all this harassment could happen to a doctor, I wonder what protection I can give to my daughters, so that they do not face it when they grow up. Therefore now this is the mission of my life to end this injustice where DAUGHTERS LOSE THEIR LIFE BEFORE THEY GET IT BECAUSE THEY ARE FEMALES.”

I got married in November 2004. Initially, there was a lot of dowry harassment. In January 2005 I became pregnant. A trans-vaginal ultrasound conducted in the sixth week of pregnancy showed that I was carrying twins. Then my mother-in-law started demanding that I undergo a sex determination test. I was even tortured to get it done. My husband and in-laws would deny me food and water and fight with me every day to undergo the sex determination tests. I, with full support from my parents tried resisting it

So my in-laws and husband got it done by deception. Knowing that I was allergic to eggs they fed me cake made with eggs, all the while assuring me it was egg less. I developed allergic manifestations — stomachache, loose motions and vomiting. The whole night I was left alone. The next morning my husband and mother-in-law took me to a hospital, which was not the one from which I had got my ante natal tests. I was admitted to the labor room. The gynecologist advised kidney, Ureter, bladder ultrasound, but the radiologist conducted a fetal ultrasound and asked me to get up and go. I pointed out to him, that the gynecologist had ordered a K.U.B. So than the radiologist again asked me to lie down and did the K.U.B examination.

After this incident my husband and in laws started demanding that I get an M.T.P. My mother-in-law asked me many times to at least get one child killed in-utero. I was kept without food and water. My husband who began ignoring me even turned me out of the house at 10 o’clock one night and asked me to go to my father’s house.

My mother-in- law even told me that my two daughters would be a big burden on the family and I should get them aborted. If not both, she said get at least one aborted. When I refused she said at least give one of them for adoption.

On 17 May 2005, after I was subjected to a lot of verbal abuse, I started bleeding at night and there was danger of abortion. I was not even allowed to call up my parents for medical help. I survived the night and managed to call my father in the morning. After much persuasion by my father, my husband agreed to take me to the nursing home. But he drove rashly from my in-laws to the nursing home near my parents.

After finding out that I was to have twin girls, my in- laws and husband seldom accompanied me for antenatal tests or hospital visits. My mother would accompany me for all my tests etc. My husband would frequently fight with me. Even in my parents’ house he would fight with me. He even demanded that a D.N.A should be conducted to establish the paternity of the twins because his mother had been told by some priest her son would have just one son. As I was carrying two daughters, he said they could not be his children.

I pointed out to my mother-in-law, that it was the father’s sperms that are responsible for sex of the babies. Her reply was that my fault was that I was not ready to abort them.

Due all the tension, I delivered two-pre term daughters on 11th August, 2005. For nine days after the birth of my twins, my in-laws never visited me. Then my sister-in-laws, my mother-in-law, and my father- in-law came to visit me. One of my aunts congratulated my sisters-in -law. They said “God forbid, we ever become aunts of girls again” .My mother-in-law said, “They were born in the seventh month so they are not going to survive anyway”. My younger daughter stayed in the nursery for almost one month. Since my in-laws did not pay the hospital bills, my parents paid them.

I tried many times to go back to my in-laws house. However, there was a lot of verbal abuse; I had no help in looking after children. There was no love or respect for children or me. I was not even sure my children and I would be safe there. My mother-in-law even deliberately pushed down my 4-month-old daughter from the staircase and pretended it was an accident. Fortunately I was able to hold her carry cot and save her from harm. They never showed any love or affection towards them.

The children’s paternal grandparents & aunts have rejected them totally. I tried for full three years that my husband and in-laws accept my daughters, because I wanted to give my daughters a stable home.

Though I had complained to the police station during my pregnancy about the sex determination test conducted and the pressure to have an M.T.P, I had requested them not to take any action as I thought they would come around and accept my daughters.

In March 2008, my husband threw me out in the middle of the night, and asked me for a mutual consent divorce, because he wanted to remarry and have sons. It was during this visit to my matrimonial house, that I came across the discharge papers, and reports of ultrasounds done during my pregnancy (those papers had been always in the custody of my husband).

COMPLAINT UNDER PC-PNDT ACT AND ATTITUDE OF THE AUTHORITIES.

On April 10 2008, I filed a complaint to the Women’s Commissions, the health minister, and various N.G.Os, requesting them to investigate and take appropriate action. There was no response to my complaint. Therefore On May 9 2008, I filed a complaint in the P.N.D.T cell.

On June 5, I got reply to a RTI application that the Central Monitoring Committee along with District Appropriate Authority (NORTH WEST DELHI) had raided the hospital on 3rd June 2008, and again I got a reply from District Appropriate Authority that during raid it was found that no form F was filled. (Which is true-it was never filled and which according to the P.N.D.T act itself amounts to sex determination, even if there are no complainants).

Still no action was taken against any of the accused. When my case was highlighted in the media, I got a letter from District Appropriate Authority asking me to appear before them and express my views. I went to meet the C.D.M.O along with a friend and asked about the value of my statement in this case. I was told that the law needs to be explored. It was also suggested that I should not do anything in an impulsive manner, which I may repent later. I was also told that I should try to reconcile with my husband, and the wish for a son was not something I could not fulfill, as I could always get pregnant again. I was also asked the benefit I would get if the ultrasound machine was sealed. I was told the ultrasound machine was a very useful tool for diagnosis and someone could suffer if it was sealed.

Lastly I was advised to inform the office, in case of resettlement with my husband, so that the doctors are not troubled. Though it has been established that the gynecologist had asked only for K.U.B., and a detailed fetal ultrasound has been done, no form F has been filled. I was tortured during pregnancy to abort the babies, still no action was taken.

I pointed out to the C.D.M.O that his statement that I should try to reconcile with my husband, and the wish for a son was not something I could not fulfill, as I could always get pregnant again, implied that he was encouraging me to undergo sex determination test should I get pregnant again. It also implied that he considers women as baby producing machines who must go on producing children till they manage to produce a son.

No answer has been given about why the fetal ultrasound was done in the first place, when it was never asked for. In the meantime all my letters to central and state PNDT department went unanswered.

I filed a private case under P.C-PNDT act in November 2008. In January 2009, the appropriate authority also filed a case against Jaipur Golden Hospital. Now both cases are pending in the court.

I am still facing harassment from all quarters to withdraw my cases. Every authority, be it in the police, the judiciary, or the hospital where I was working, are trying to force me to withdraw my cases. It was due to this harassment and certain threats that I had to leave my job recently.

Most of the people I have encountered are of the view that my husband and in-laws are not wrong in wanting a son. I am being told that every family wants a son. A doctor colleague in a hospital I was working in till recently remarked “sex determination and female feticide must be a rule rather than exception from the second pregnancy onwards.

Latest updates

In almost every hearing, domestic violence, and abuse to the mother is a criteria for deciding the visitation rights and the custody. In India, the law of the land is – even the worst of the husband, may not necessarily a bad father. In my case the domestic violence towards me even during my pregnancy, is not a criteria for denying the visitation rights.

A person, who is charged for robbing a bank, is immediately taken into custody, and the loot confiscated from him, and put under the charge of police. The judiciary or the police do not let him keep the loot, till the conviction by the court. In this case, I am being told that my husband is still an accused in the case under P.C-P.N.D.T act, and has not yet been convicted, so my husband should have an access to the children till he is convicted for attempting to commit female feticide. Who will take the responsibility in case my daughters are harmed in any way?

It is one year since court took cognizance against the director of Jaipur Golden Hospital in P.C-P.N.D.T case, and high court has refused to give any stay on the proceedings in the lower court. The director of the hospital applied for bail on 1st October 2010 and he got the bail on the same day- the state has not even appealed against the bail, or against the application of the hospital to quash the proceedings. The state is trying its best to protect the accused.

It is more than 2 years, since I filed my P.C-P.N.D.T case. The pressure on me to withdraw my cases is being mounted in the divorce ,custody and P.N.D.T proceedings.

A few pointers

* Justice is far from the poor.

* The state /any authority taking the pay from income tax we are paying- has not supported me in this battle. The support has largely come from my family, friends & colleagues, due to which am able to go ahead.

* I have approached President, Prime Minister, Health Minister, Women commissions etc and every other person who speaks big in front of media against female feticide. They are not ready to help me in my battle to save my battle. Will any government official accept the responsibility in case any thing happens to my daughters or me?

* The whole fight would not have been possible without the support of my parents and family, and perhaps that the reason women are unable to come forward to complain. In our country –parents stop helping their daughter in face of harassment after she is married.

* This is not a personal battle. The easiest thing for me to do today is to withdraw my cases and settle down with my daughters peacefully. The only reason I am not doing this is- if all this harassment could happen to a doctor, I wonder what protection I can give to my daughters, so that they do not face it when they grow up. Therefore now this is the mission of my life to end this injustice where DAUGHTERS LOSE THEIR LIFE BEFORE THEY GET IT BECAUSE THEY ARE FEMALES.

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