My name is Jyoti (24) and my father is Naresh Seth. I am a Sonar (jweller) by caste. I have a two-year-old daughter Anshika and I live in Sarai Digri, post Tikri, police station Lanka, block Kashi Vidhyapeeth, Tehsil Sadar district Varanasi Uttar Pradesh.
I was married to Neeraj Soni son of Radheyshyam Seth on February 12, 2009 at Karmveer Susuwayee police station Lanka district Varanasi. For eight days after marriage the in-laws behaved well with me but when I visited the house for a second time after visiting my parents house there was a change in their behaviour. My mother-in-law Prabhawati, father-in-law Radheyshyam and the sister-in-law Kirti started making pranks upon me but I thought this happens in every house after marriage and then with time it subsides so will be the case with me, so I kept quiet.
My mother-in-law said that my father had given all fake items in marriage and she demanded those items should be given again. My in-laws sold off all that was given by my father in the marriage and demanded for again giving those items. When I asked my husband why things like fridge and cooler were being sold he started beating me and my mother-in-law said, “Beat her up properly she is insolate.”
I slept with tears in the eyes that night. In two months all that happened with me in my in-laws house had made my life hell. I became pregnant but they never thought of giving me relief. They made me work for hours and then offered less food that was not sufficient for me. I used to fall down out of weakness and hunger but they never used to ask why I was getting weak every passing day.
On top of this my mother-in-law used to comment I was trying to make fool of others by falling down. My husband joined her and used to ask me to go to my parents’ house if I were to behave like this.
I used to think my father had given so much of dowry and even then I get beating from these people. My mother-in-law used to feed my husband against me and my husband used to believe her. When I tried to tell him the truth and what all those women do with me, he never trusted me and always started to beat me. I could not do much about it and always though the child in my womb should not take birth in such a situation.
After some time my father came to take me. He said to my in-laws if he could take me to home for a few days. Hearing this, my father-in-law started abusing my father. For long heated words were exchanged between the two and then my mother-in-law stood up to say, “take away your witch, inauspicious daughter and I came back with my father weeping. Daughters always feel happy after coming back from their in-laws house but I never felt anything was making me happy.
I used to think what was the shortcoming in me that I got such a treatment from that family. Neither is my husband interested in me nor is he paying attention towards the child who is going to take birth soon.
After a few days a daughter was born to me and the information was sent to my in-laws house. But no one from came to see the child. I thought if not for me they could have come to see the child at least.
Whenever someone knocked at the door I used to run and see hoping it were someone from my in-laws family but when it found it was someone else I used to come back with tears. My mother and wife of my brother always consoled me saying things will get better soon.
Then on March 01, 2010 my mother-in-law and sister-in-law came to take me and my father told me to go with them. But when I came to my in-laws house they repeated the behaviour. My husnad never used to see my child for she was a girl. All of them used to say it was a girl child. What was the fault or that child or even mine if she was a girl child. They didn’t allowed her to have milk. My mother-in-law used to say, “give her flour with water instead of milk.”
Her words made me cry and I asked her, “She is just two months old and if I do this she will die. You may not give food to me but please allow my daughter to have milk.” It was then turn of my sister-in-law who said, “Your father hasn’t given money for her milk then how could you feed her.”
When I used to give her breastfeed they snatched her from me and put her on the floor and compelled me to work. My sister-in-law used to spit upon me and made me clean her footwear. When my husband was at home they used to feed him against me and made him beat me up. They thumped my child on floor instead of playing with her and cursed my parents. My father-in-law used to say, “We are the court and your father will not be able to do anything.”
Even then I used to think that things will get better soon. But nothing got better but became worse.
One night my husband brought me down from the first floor while thrashing me and all other family members including my mother-in-law and sister-in-law too came there. Father in-law tried to make me drink acid kept in a bottle while my husband kept on beating me. I was crying and asking mercy at the feet of everyone. None had sympathy for me. My father-in-law said, “go and get money from your father else we will kill you.” I replied, “Father, how would my parents bring more money.”
Listening to my reply he dragged me by the hair and beat me up.
On May 22, 2010 my father came for vidai to take me home. When he asked them to allow me to go with him my husband pushed my brother as a result of which his head got bang with the wall. He said no one is going from this house unless you people bring money. Hearing this my father left the house.
I was afraid and though if my father left the house who will then save me from these demons. They will kill me. I rushed and picked up my child and went behind my father crying, “father take me along with you else these people will kill me.”
At present I am living with my parents and my husband is planning his second marriage. My father did an FIR in this regard but nothing has happened so far. I am unable to understand what sin have we mother and daughter done in the past life that we are suffering in such a situation.
Though I am narrating my plight to you but feat even if understanding is made between us they might still repeat the same behaviour with me as they have been doing in the past. I want I should go back to that house with respect. My husband may not give love to me but should give affection to my daughter. My daughter should get the love of her grandparents and other family members.
People in both the families should respect each other. I feel relaxed after narrating my woes to you. But my head is paining excessively. I feel so bad that do not want to go to anyone or any place. Never feel like attending marriage or any other function. I feel like repenting in a corner of the house, as I fear whether I will get justice or not.
Testimony taken by psycho-social community worker Ms. Chhaya Kumari and Jyoti was brought to PVCHR office by PVCHR member Ms. Pinky Singh.