Cradling her three month old girl child under the scorching sun, 26-year-old Gopika has been on a 'satyagraha' outside her in-laws house demanding that she be allowed to live with her husband.
The move by the gritty MCA graduate to go on dharna outside her in-laws house for the last 10 days has evoked sympathy and garnered support from all quarters, including political parties and galvanised the administration to take up her case.
Gopika, whose father is physically challenged and mother a noon meal worker, says her woes began soon after marriage in September 2008, to Kannan, the second son of a wealthy businessman. "My in-laws treated me like a servant and the hararssment grew daily. My husband did not come forward to support me during this crucial period."
But more trouble was in store. After she conceived in December 2008, her husband dropped Gopika at the house of her relative, a yoga teacher, but did not return to pick her up.
She was turned away when she went to the house, accompanied by her parents.
Gopika, meanwhile, gave birth to a daughter in Chennai and began the dharna when the baby was three months old.
The district administration is currently persuading both parties to amicably settle their differences and allow Gopika to live with her husband.