The  Success  Story  of



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Indira was born in Agardia in Bhilwara district. She was married at the age of eight months and lost her father soon after. Her marriage took place under the atta saata system and her brother Devaram’s marriage was fixed with her husband Gopal’s sister Khema. However, Khema was not Gopal’s biological sister. She was born to Devilal of Narayana village. Her mother had died when she was an infant and so her father sold her for Rs.10,000/- to Devaram in order to remarry. This was Devaram second marriage and he had two sons and a daughter from his first marriage. Indira began living with her in-laws when she was 16 years old. During her first pregnancy, Khema came to Narayana to look after her. Here, Khema got into a relationship with the neighbourhood social convener Kaluram Dhakad and decided to go away with him. Fifteen days later Kaluram and Khema were found murdered on Devaram’s farm. Indira asserts that it was Devilal’s son who murdered them. According to custom, the responsibility of meeting the expenses of Devaram re-marriage lay with Indira’s in-laws. To avoid this expense, Indira’s husband Gopal snatched their child from her, hit her and threw her out of the house. Her in-laws also took all her ornaments. Devilal was also party to this. Another marriage was arranged for Indira’s brother for a sum of Rs. 80,000/- . Indira wanted to go and live with her in-laws and wanted her child back, but her natal family wanted to send her in nata in order to pay Rs. 80,000 for Devaram’s marriage. Indira filed a complaint at Pandher police station, with little success. She then contacted MJAS, shared her story and asked that her child be given back to her. She wanted to re-start her life with Gopal and wanted that her parents be given a sum of Rs.20,000/-. MJAS organised a women’s panchayat in Narayana. The panchayat members vehemently opposed Indira’s stand. However, due to support from the large number of women present at the meeting, the decision went in Indira’s favour, and her in-laws also agreed to pay Rs. 20,000 to her parents.