BHADRAK: Awareness may have empowered them to raise their voice against exploitation by their husbands. But they remain rooted to traditions purely for religious sanction and observe Sabitri Brata for their husbands.Asiyan, a short stay home run by NGO “Society for Weaker Community”, houses over 100 women in distress. Beaten, tortured and exploited, some of them parted ways or were forced to leave their husbands to lead a lonely life here. But they continue to observe fast and pray for long life and well-being of their better-halves on the day of Sabitri Brata.
One such inmate of Asiyan is 30-year-old Manaswini Kar of Kenduapada village under Bonth block. She was thrown out of the house by her husband Raghav as she objected to his extra-marital affairs. “I was beaten and tortured by my husband. Nobody came forward to help me. Finally, I was driven out of my home,” said Manaswini.
Pujarani Jena’s case is different. She was tortured as she was unable to bear a child. “I was beaten mercilessly by my in-laws and thrown out of the house,” she said. Similarly, Padmabati Ojha of Soro has been staying in Asiyana for the last two years as her husband married for second time.Another inmate, Sabita Behera of Sumilia, said, “I had to leave my in-laws’ house with two children after four years of marriage to escape torture by them. My only fault was that I raised my voice against my husband’s illegitimate affair with another woman.”
Nearly 45 deserted wives have taken shelter in Asiyan. Most of them have been fighting for their rights and maintenance in the court of law. “Our inmates belong to Bhadrak, Balasore and Keonjhar districts and most of them have been deserted by their husbands. We have made efforts to bridge the gap between the couples but failed. We have also taken the mater to the court but inordinate delay has made them desperate,” said Sk Sofia, secretary of Asiyana.