A Courageous Mother Fights For Her Daughters
On a cold November evening in 2019, we were left in shock by a phone call from Payal*, a young mother from Haryana. She was verbally, physically and sexually abused by her husband and his family for 8 years because she had given birth to three daughters. Many times, Payal had to rescue her daughters from the attempts of the in-laws to harm them.
One day, she decided that she had had enough. Showing amazing resilience, she left her marital home for another city along with two of her daughters and found employment as a maid. Her husband and in-laws had forcibly held back her second daughter, four-year-old Jaya*, to force Payal to come back to the marital home.
Payal reached out to ADF India’s allied lawyers. In January 2020, the High Court directed her husband to produce Jaya in court in the presence of the mother. The Court also directed the family court to complete proceedings, on Payal’s petition seeking her daughter’s custody, within 4 weeks. Subsequently, when the family court granted interim custody of the girl to the mother, the father delayed granting custody under various pretexts. On 13 July, the High Court passed an order stating that the custody of the child would have to be given to the mother before 17 July.
Unbridled tears of joy accompanied the reunion of Payal and her daughter Jaya after 9 months of painful separation. She was blessed to have the support of her parents in her struggle. Her mother stood bravely beside her at the court when her husband and his relatives surrounded them with menacing looks. Payal also felt stronger in the company of the ADF India lawyers who were more than just lawyers to her, they were family. They had fought this battle together for 9 months and now they were celebrating her victory with her.
ADF India allied lawyers have filed her petition seeking maintenance from her husband. A domestic violence petition has been filed against the in-laws, with a prayer for an award of monetary damages for what she had to undergo at their hands. Meanwhile, criminal proceedings against those in her husband’s family who subjected her to cruelty and sexual abuse are also underway.
We will continue to stand beside Payal as she courageously wages this battle for the permanent custody, safety and future of her daughters. But we cannot do this alone.
Your financial gift of Rs. 1000 or more will go towards the Rs. 2,00,000/- that we are raising for Payal so that she can continue to receive the best legal representation. Together we can secure justice for Payal and her three daughters and ensure that they live their lives with dignity and freedom.
*names changed to protect privacy