When manoj's mom came to us a year back carrying her tiny awkward child, we knew she was a woman in need of help so not only did we take her son in our creche, but gave her a part time job at home.
Madhu is a tiny chit of a woman with a strong spirit and she quickly adapted to our ways. A hardworking woman she went about her work quietly. We were shocked beyond words when we realised a couple of days back that she was 7 months pregnant. She has hid the fact too scared that she might lose her job.
Madhu slowly shared her story, and told us about the drunk husband that beat her with obsessive regularity, about how he threatened to throw her out if she got rid of the unborn child. She spoke about the numerous days when they went without food as the husband flittered his money at the watering hole, she told us about the windowless and airless room they lived. She said it all without bitterness or anger but with the strange fatalism that is the rule with many a woman in India. No she had not chosen this man but had been married off by her parents at the tender age of 16.
Madhu is resigned to her fate as she knows that she has no option. In a few weeks she will have another child who will feed on her already emaciated body. Her husband will beat her some more and she will bear it all as she has no options.
Women like Madhu are examples of the plight of the girl child who is seen to be a burden from the time she lands on this planet and is got rid off as soon as possible. And yet there is a spirit that lives in her tiny body one that will never get the chance to manifest itself.
Like many women Madhu will survive, that is the best our world has to offer.
Labels: girl child