Her husband committed suicide leaving her with two children, one ten years old and the other just five. Her husband, a farmer, wanted a job that would give him a regular income, applied for a driver’s job at the local Government office. The middlemen demanded a bribe and he took a loan over an already unpaid loan that he had taken for agriculture. And as any middleman would do, nothing came about and he was left with no job and a huge loan to repay. It felt like a dead end.

The act changed her life in a fundamental way that she is still trying to cope with. “The 2.5 acres of land was transferred to my name. I cannot cultivate it myself. It is far and I have small children. So I have leased out the land and am trying to get a proper job. I have done my B.A. but I can’t be a teacher in school because they ask for D.Ed or B.Ed. I cannot afford to spend two years getting those qualifications. At the moment I am teaching in a nursery school at Rs.1000 a month. “The house we are living in now was on my father in law’s name. Before his death, a couple of months ago, he transferred everything to my brother-in-law’s name via a gift deed. He did not give me anything. The only thing that I look forward to, is the education of my children. My son is really bright in his studies. I want him to get educated. I never discuss any family problems with my children. I want to insulate them from this so that they get a good education. Till now my father-in-law was paying for education, now my brother-in-law is paying for it and I don’t know when that might stop. If we cannot afford it, we will shift the children to a government school. Children are currently studying in an English medium convent school. Now we may have to send them to Marathi medium school. Their entire life is disturbed.” Names have been withheld upon request. Katol, Nagpur, Maharashtra.

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