Ragini had great plans for her future but never in her dreams did she think that she would become like Shreya Ghoshal. Because she knows that she would not be able to give the fees of her music class. On asking her about education, she says “I don’t want to study anymore. What is the use of studying? After all I will get married in 2 months as I have grown up now”. Further she says me to marry as soon as possible before its too late. After hearing this, I kept mum for a second. When I enquired whether she knows the age at which a girl can marry a boy, she tells “18 yrs”. Then why are you not opposing for this marriage. To this she says, “If I will not marry then my step mother will not keep me in house. And if at all she keeps me, she will beat me with stick or else she will send me for begging”.
Doesn’t your father say any things to your mother? The helpless girl replies, “What will babuji do? Mother behaves so well in front of him. And when I complain Babuji about her, she does not give me lunch and beat severally to my 2 yr old brother Raju and 8 yr old sister Shyam ill.” When asked about Mrs. Lajvanti (step-mother) to Shyamili, she hesitated. But after she speaks, “Ma is very bad. She is not like our previous Ma. Our Ma never scolded us but our second Ma scolds us a lot”. From the scars on their back, it was quite clear that these kids were a real victim of corporal Punishment. While we were commencing further, Lajvanti Ji entered. She was coming from market after selling guavas. She was looking very innocent. But at the same time, she was showing a glimpse of tension on her face.
Who does the household work? She says, “I”. Is your elder girl who is 14 years of age educated? She says hesitatingly, “Yes till class 8th she has studied. And if her father permits her to study further, she will study”. Listening to this I was simply stained. I just started thinking, who is telling the truth. When are you going to marriage your daughters? She says, “At the age of 18 years”. Again a shocking answer came. To whom do you love more, “Your own children or your husband’s first wife’s children”? She tells “I never distinguish between the Kids. They are all equal to me.” On further queries about problems related to money, she says, “Ramu’s father get 70/- per day and with this it’s very difficult to manage our family what else we can do sometimes we were sleep empty stomach. But I never let my kids to sleep without food”.
Again came flood of doubt and queries in mind. But….