Awarness body working for uplift of women

Ilam, November 20:

Suntali Gurung (name changed), compelled to tolerate her husband’s mental and physical tortures for the past few years, finally decided to part company with him.

She managed to come to this decision with the help of local intellectuals, legal advisers and the local Women Awareness Union (WAU), Ilam. WAU has been active in the district for four years and has been working to mitigate the level of domestic violence.

“We are not interested in separating this couple, but we have been compelled as the wife is suffering,” Bishnu Dahal, Chairman of WAU, said talking about the Gurungs. For the same reason they had decided to live separately, Dahal said.

The case of the Gurungs is not unique. WAU in the past has handled dozens of such cases in the seven VDCs and a municipality in Ilam district. Each case is resolved with the help of legal experts, social activists and intellectuals in presence of both sides to the conflict at hand.

A written agreement is prepared at the end of each case as a proof. About 90 per cent cases reported at WAU had been solved and no case had been repeated, WAU said.

Chairman Dahal said that the union was doing such a good job that the locals came to the union office to solve their cases instead of going to the police and appealing at the courts.

All kind of cases are brought to WAU’s attention, but most are related to domestic violence.

The union is also studying cases of domestic violence at Soyak, Siddhithumka, Sangrumba, Jeetpur, Chisapani, Shantidanda and Laxmipur VDCs and Ilam municipality.

WAU records show that the union had solved 14 cases last fiscal year. Similarly, among the six cases registered with the WAU this year, five have already been solved.

“We trust WAU, so we come here instead of going to the police or courts,” a local said on the condition of anonymity.