The  Success  Story  of

Meera Meena


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Meera Meena belonged to Kaseer village in Tonk district. She was married at the age of 13 to Durgalal of Bhanwarthala village. The gauna (when the woman goes to stay at her marital home) took place when Meera was 17. This was Durgalal’s second marriage. He belonged to a poor family and his land was mortgaged with the local money lender. Meera’s father arranged for Durgalal’s family to borrow money at a very low rate of interest. However, when Meera’s in-laws did not repay the loan for a period of eight years, the money lenders started harassing them. By then, the amount had increased to Rs. 40,000. Meera’s in-laws then sent Meera back to her natal home, stating that they should send her in nata and use the jhagra amount to pay the money lender. By this time, Meera already had three children. She returned to her parents’ home along with her children. She began working on their farm and paying off the debt. Eventually, she built a small hut on her parents’ land where she started living with her children. However, her husband continued to harass her, visiting her whenever he liked and abusing her sexually. He would also beat her and then abscond for days. He then began visiting her with other men. They would drink and her husband would force her to have sexual relations with them. Her father and brother did not interfere in the situation as they believed that a husband could treat his wife the way he wanted. Meera approached the Samanvay Samiti and asked them to arrange for protection from her husband. She was clear that she did not want to live with Durgalal. She demanded legal action against him. Due to this stand, her own family disowned her. On May 29, 1999 when she was admitted to a hospital due to illness, Durgalal came with eight-nine men and abducted her in a jeep. She was kept captive for three days and repeatedly raped by her husband, her father-in-law’s brother, and two other men. Unable to bear the torture any more, Meera decided to leave her husband. However, the entire village including her natal and marital family took a stand against her. At that time, the MJAS team provided help and support to Meera at every step. They filed a case against Durgalal and also wrote a letter to Meera’s father and the village sarpanch to provide her protection and forbid Durgalal from visiting her. MJAS repeatedly followed up with the police to register a case against Durgalal. Due to immense pressure from several quarters, the police finally filed an FIR in this case. In the proceedings, MJAS’ office was attacked twice and its members were forbidden from interfering in the case. Durgalal and his family also alleged that: “All MJAS workers were morally loose and were breaking up homes”.