Beleaguered bride

Even as urban women talk about having busted the glass ceiling, those in the rural

areas continue to be the victims of ignorance.

Recently a woman in Rautahat district, Sangita Devi, after having suffered nine long years of torture and humiliation, was expelled from her home, along with her children, for not having

brought enough dowry. Her in-laws brutally thrashed her and held her captive in a room for days before finally dumping her in a railway station. Sangita is one of the hundreds of beleaguered women, who become the victims of brutal practices endemic in our society. Along with violence related to dowry, incidents of women being tortured for alleged witchcraft is not uncommon.

It is because of sheer ignorance that some women meekly submit to excesses that deserve

the severest punishment. On the other hand, some conservative people in our country are yet

to be freed from superstitions and unsavoury practices that have existed since ages. Organisations that champion women’s rights should reach out to the women in the rural backwaters and educate and empower them to resist violence. This should be done by launching awareness campaigns and by educating the women about their rights. While it is necessary to punish wrongdoers, it is equally important to encourage conservative or superstitious people to abandon practices which are considered uncivilised in modern society.