KOZHIKODE: "Finally, I decided to call it quits from life. I had no other way out of the extreme torture inflicted by my husband. That night, I slowly walked towards the well. My plan was to jump into it, but when I neared it, I lost courage. My body began to shiver," A Noujisha recalls about her suicide attempt in 2016.
The traumatised woman of Panthirikkara near Perambra developed wings from that point and started pursuing her dreams. Now, she is a civil police officer (WCPO) under training at Peruvannamuzhi.
Thirty-one-year-old Noujisha, an MCA holder, had a brief stint as a guest lecturer before her marriage in 2013. "I had told my husband's family about my ambition to go for work before the alliance was fixed. They agreed then, but my husband reneged on the promise after tying the knot. My husband didn't value the certificates I had obtained by burning the midnight oil for long," she said.
Then, domestic violence started and she somehow survived the physical assaults and trauma. After three-and-a-half-years of ordeal, she returned to her house along with her son.
Noujisha began teaching in a parallel college in Perambra along with attending coaching classes for Kerala Public Service Commission (KPSC) competitive examinations. "I soon realised that I need full-time coaching and I stopped teaching. Meanwhile, she filed the divorce petition. "It was a horrible phase in my life -- fighting the case with a non-reliable lawyer, attending coaching classes and bringing up my kid." She shudders at the thought of that time.
Next year, Noujisha found a place in the KPSC supplementary list for the lower division clerk post in Ernakulam district. She was called for a physical test in the woman civil police officer (WCPO) post in Kasaragod but failed. Undeterred, she continued attending examinations. She got the 141st rank in the state-wide list for WCPO post followed by the first rank in the Muslim (no candidate available) list of WCPO in Thrissur and eighth in the rank list in Ernakulam.
"As I wanted to work in my home district, I opted for the state-wide rank list and joined as a woman cop on April 15. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I got the appointment order," she told The New Indian Express.
Noujisha said she was afraid to approach the police when she was in dire need of help suffering violence and torture from her husband. "Now, I have found that there is no need to harbour such fears and any woman can directly go to the police. There is a helpline number -- 'Mithra 181' -- for suffering women. But many of our rural people do not know about such services," she felt.
Caressing her now six-year old son Aiham Nazal, she says that her family stood with her until the divorce was granted. "Especially, my elder sister gave me solid support," she said. "Job is the real power, especially for women. Instead of suffering in silence, women should come out of the ordeal and chase their dreams," she exhorted.