The doorbell was ringing continuously. On opening the door, a woman entered the office rushing inside. Guard stopped her to know who she was. After satisfaction he let her in. She went to the office and after paying regards, she sat on the sofa on the left side of my table. She was served with water and the office boy went outside. She was examining the room and was panting. I let her relieve her stress on her own. She drank half of the water. She seemed quite upset and hopeless. She was 30 years old but her physical condition made her look very aged. Silence prevailed in the room for a little while. She broke the silence as I wanted too. She started to speak and the conversation began.
My name is Zahida and Ishrat baji (CPC member) sent me to you. Yes Zahida, how may I help you? Madam my husband and mother in law have pushed me out of the house, I am so tensed. Making her feel comfortable, I told her that you are very safe here and you do not need to worry about anyone else listening to you. Therefore, you can openly talk to me. Madam I am very scared, my mother in law was saying that she will humiliate me everywhere. She was almost crying. I assured her that her mother in law can’t do any harm if she stays strong. I asked her about the whole story. She gathered all her energy and started narrating her story.
It’s been 12 years that I am married. Starting days of my marriage were as happy and fine as anyone else’s. After one year, I gave birth to a daughter. Like me, my husband was very happy at the birth of our first child. My mother in law was neither very happy nor sad. My second child was also a daughter which led my mother in law talk ill about it. My husband was also of the same feelings as my mother in law. She used to show her hopelessness for a baby boy every instance. As a matter of my respect, I also used to pray for a son. But fate laughed at me and my third baby girl was born. My mother in law just couldn’t resist and harshly said to me, “Enough now! This is the last chance you are going to get. We can’t bear it anymore. We want descendent of the house. If you will fail to do so, I will bring a second wife for my son!” that day I cried a lot and my innocent new born baby girl was accompanying me in that. She was more like a thorn to me than a flower. I was shattered though I considered myself very strong. Is giving birth to a daughter such a big sin? If yes, then why don’t women’s existence perished from this world? And if that is not possible than there must be some place in the heart of humans for women.
Nature felt pity on me and finally I gave birth to a son. The pillar of my life was born but my mother in law snatched him too from me. She is a greedy woman and kept on asking me to bring money from my father. I did so to avoid further complications. My son was 8 months old when she again demanded the money. I told her I can’t do it as my father is very aged now and he is dependent on my brothers. Listening to this she got outrageous and asked my husband to take away my son from me. She blamed my character as well and said him to kick me out of the house along with my 3 daughters. My husband being very obedient pushed me out of the house with my daughters. I am at my mother’s place since yesterday. My daughters are with me but my son who is dependent on my feed is at my in laws. I am so worried about him please help me madam.
Zahida’s story melted my heart. I asked Zahida what help would she like to have from Bedari. She requested Bedari to contact her husband and talk to him directly. I want to stay with him because of my children. I assured her that we will talk to him on her behalf. She provided us with her husband’s phone number and went away. Next day, I talked to Zahida’s husband, Abdul Shakoor on the number she provided. He agreed to talk about this issue and decided to come over the same day. He arrived at office on time. At start he showed much concerns about his son and his health. He stated that his son was continuously crying since yesterday and he himself wants any miracle to occur so that they all live together. Bedari told him that Zahida is a human being first and this is the main reason she deserves respect just like his mother. Bedari shared with him the possibilities and legal actions Zahida could take to have her children with her. He was then told that Zahida wants to settle everything and live with her family instead of any legal action.
His conversation was a proof that he wants to see his wife and children soon with him. He told us that he doesn’t want harm his wife or children, but is helpless in front of his mother. He shared that his mother sustains an argumentative environment all the time and he was so annoyed now. He was worried about his daughters’ education as well. (I was thinking, how easy it was for him to put the blame on another woman to prove him innocent, as if he was doing all the decisions on his mother’s advice). Bedari guided him towards maintaining a balance between his mother and wife and to take a stand for his wife. He ensured that he will take Zahida and daughters home today and won’t harm them again. He realized that Zahida is also someone’s daughter and a very caring wife. Abdul Shakoor made it easy for us by realizing very soon that he was wrong. I told him that it is of immense pleasure to see you realizing your mistake and moving towards the right direction. Zahida is your caring wife and mother of your children, but above all she has a social significance, that is, she is a human being. And this is the very first reason for her to be respected.
Before leaving, Abdul Shakoor thanked Bedari for providing him a platform to reunite with his family. He was also thankful for introducing him to the respect of humanity first. “Thank you so much Bedari”, these were the last words of Abdul Shakoor before leaving the office.
Next day, I got a call from Zahida, she was very happy. I could feel it in her tone. She was at her own house and thanked Bedari for helping her out.