Laxmi Devi, RAMU member
village Jodgadh, Panchayat Shivpur, Block Kareda, District Bhilwara
"I work at NREGA while my daughter takes care of the household since her vacations are going on. She then goes to the fields to look after the crops while I come back from the site, have my meal and head to fields to assist her. I have two children- a daughter and a son. My husband doesn't earn anything. He occasionally goes to work in hotels, but whatever he earns, he spends them in drinking, heavily. He is addicted. He used to abuse me, both physically and mentally. He used to beat me unconscious. Once because I refused to give him money for his alcohol, he beat me blue and black, pulled me by hair to the centre of the village and when everyone heard my screams, they stopped him and rescued me. My son was just three years old, when my husband in a rush of anger, threw him from the terrace that broke his left arm. We had to go through several surgeries to make it functional. I became depressed with all the embarrassment and abuse that one day, I decided to end my life. I jumped in a well, but I was saved. It made me realize that my children will be helpless without me. They don't have anyone other than me. I work in NREGA and whatever I earn, I am saving to educate my daughter. She's a topper in her school and every day of my life is lit by her. Sometimes when I need cash, I withdraw some of it and keep it with my sister-in-law, so that my husband doesn't find them. He already knows my usual hiding places like sugar or rice containers. Sometimes my sister-in-law takes away the money and claims that I have not given her the money. I have tried many medicines and have taken him to doctors in several cities, but nothing has made anything better. " Background: A 30 year old women, with no source of living other than nrega.
written by Tamalika Bera