Tu Zinda Hain: Days of Grief and Victory

Tu zinda hain, toh zindagi ki jeet par yakeen kar.
Agar kahin hain swarg toh utaarla zameen par, tu zinda hain…

If you are alive, believe in the victory of life.
If there are heavens somewhere, bring them down to the earth, you are alive…

Yeh gum ke aur chaar din sitamke aur chaar din, yeh din bhi jayenge guzar guzar gaye hazaar din.
Kabhi toh ho gi is chaman pe bhi bahaar ki nazar.  Agar kahin hain swarg toh utaarkla zameen par.  Tu zinda hain……

Four more days of grief, four more days of torture, they shall pass, like a thousand days have before them.
Some day spring will shine upon this garden.  If there are heavens somewhere, bring them down to the earth.  You are alive…

This inspiring song composed by Shankar Shailender is now the anthem of our Social Action leaders.  When the leaders met on 6th November 2009 they sang this song as it gives them a feeling of confidence.  It makes them believe that life is good but it can be better if we believe in the victory of life.  The Social Action leaders at SHARE face every challenge with a smile.

At the meeting it was revealed that several cases of domestic violence have been reported by the women over the last few months.  This made the Social Action leaders reflect on the problems of their communities and determine that this year they will work on the issue of violence in the home and family.

The leaders discussed the story of “Sunita” (not her real name).  Sunita grew up in her village and moved to Mumbai with her husband after marriage. Her husband seemed to love her a lot and acted like he wanted to protect her.   He did not allow Sunita to interact with anybody in the slum where they lived. He would always tell her that it was not safe for her.  Every morning when he left the house he would caution her, “do not talk to any neighbor,” “do not open the door for anyone except me,” and similar instructions.

Several weeks later Sunita came down with a fever.  Somehow her neighbors learned she was ill and they came to inquire about her health.  She asked them to leave before her husband returned from work.  That night she was not able cook dinner for him as she was too unwell.  Suddenly she saw a different side of him.  He abused her and beat her.  She was already suffering from a high fever and this worsened the situation.

The next day her neighbors came to check on her to find out if she had recovered from her fever. They saw Sunita’s bruises and marks and asked her what had happened.  She lied to them and said that it was due to an accident in the kitchen.

A few days later her husband abused her again.  This time it was because she had forgotten to add salt to his food.  Sunita was sad, confused and scared of her husband.  She loved him and did not want to leave him but at the same time she was not sure she could live with him.  Her biggest fear was that he would continue to lose his temper and keep on hurting her.

The Social Action members talked about this story and the problems it raised.  Some women said the Sunita had no choice but to live with her husband because she has nobody to support her.  She cannot go back to her village due to the stigma that it would entail.

Others felt that Sunita should leave her husband.  But they realized that this would cause many difficulties, and they wondered how they could help her or others in her situation.

The Social Action leaders have decided to visit organizations that help women in distress. This will help them to understand the problems and gain some insights which can help them to advise the woman and refer their cases to the social worker or the authorities when required.  This visit is scheduled for 20th November 2009.

All images from the 6th November Meeting

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