“2-3 din tak mein aur mere bachhe bhooke guzaarte the sirf pani pi kar. Mere saas kuch nahi deti thi khane ke liye. Ek din mere shauhar mera gala dabaye aur meri choti bachi par pathar se hamla karne ki koshish kare.”
My children and I used to survive only on water for every other day. My mother-in -law usually did not give us anything to eat. One day my husband tried to strangle my neck and threw a stone on my little daughter.
30 years old, Sultana, has set an example for other women who got divorced. Dealing with an alcoholic husband and fighting every day to survive. “It’s not the divorce; it’s the way you divorce. Mine was very arduous and nasty: he restricted our mobility, forced our children to drop out their studies, and like every alcoholic man/husband, he used to beat me every day.” Sultana was under the most brutal attack and everything she valued – her home life, her future, her kids, and her finances – were being viciously threatened. She, then, had no choice but to turn her back on and take shelter in her mother’s home. Her family supported her in the legal battle and she finally got divorced.
They say, “Divorce affects life on absolutely every level – from your confidence and sense of who you are to your financial situation and long-term future.” For sultana, divorce was like childbirth – you don’t know how awful it is until you’re in it, and by then you have to see through it. Despite all the pain and struggles, it’s the happiest moment of your life. Similarly, her divorce was indeed a devastating experience which made her feel weak and vulnerable but she was way too happy and relaxed about it. The only thing which bothered her most was the responsibility to nurture her two young daughters, support their studies and plan to make their future bright. She had no educational qualification to do some good job. So with the support of her brother, she started a kite shop at home and later added beautiful bangles for sale. Unfortunately, the new business got into loses and she had to shut it down. This first financial set back led her to move to a rented space. Later, she again recollected her strength and confidence to join a clothing shop where she used to stand for the whole day. This job affected her health severely and made her to quit this job too.
One day she happened to know about SAFA’s skill training unit in her community and joined the cooking classes in Karwaan kitchen. Presently, Sultana is working as a home cook and earning pretty well to support her family.