Driven out of house, woman with newborn recovers at Jaipur hospital
Had life not been so cruel to 21-year-old Soniya Bano, she would have been busy with festivities on Eid-ul-Adha, the Muslim festival that was celebrated on SaturdayUpdated: Sep 02, 2017 20:10 IST
Had life not been so cruel to 21-year-old Soniya Bano, she would have been busy with festivities on Eid-ul-Adha, the Muslim festival that was celebrated on Saturday.
But she lies on a cot in the septic labour room of the women’s hospital at Sanganeri Gate, a thin tube inserted into her right arm, a packet of digestive biscuits and water bottle placed on a stool next to her. Her five-day-old baby girl with a flushed face is sleeping beside her.
Bano was turned out of the house in Jaipur’s Kanota area by her in-laws, a day after she gave birth to the baby. She spent two days at the railway station with her newborn before some people informed the women at Mahila Salah Evam Suraksha Kendra at the office of the Jaipur Rural SP, who then admitted her to the hospital.
A doctor said her stitch-line had become infected, but has been cleaned now. “We have done a fresh dressing and administered triple antibiotic. Both the woman and the baby are fine now,” said Dr Praveena.
Bano does not know where will she go after she is discharged from the hospital. “Yahi log dekhenge, kuchh karenge (These activists will do something about me),” said Bano.
Her ailing step-father in Mathura told her not to come back. “Tera byaah kar diya, aur kahaan tak karunga main (I married you off. I can’t do more for you),” he told Bano when she called him from the railway station.
The ordeal of Bano started much before she delivered the baby. Married in October 2014, she said her husband Usman didn’t have a proper job. He would abuse her, try to force her into prostitution and on refusal slander her, she said.
When she conceived the baby, her husband refused to accept it as his own and said he would not look after it. “In the seventh month, I would feel dizzy, even pukish, and there were times when I would not be able to stand up. But despite repeated requests, he never took me to a doctor. I wasn’t even given food at times,” said Bano.
In absence of an identity proof, a neighbour, Shahrukh, helped her in medical consultation. “On Sunday, I was in extreme pain but they (husband and in-laws) didn’t take me to hospital. When I said I’d die then they took me to the hospital. My husband told hospital authorities that he was my neighbour,” said Bano. At 4:39am on Monday, Bano birthed a baby girl through normal delivery.
“They did not even come once to ask if I needed anything. I was so weak that I crawled to the washroom. During the day I had to get a blood test done for which I needed Rs 50 but my mother-in-law refused saying she had already spent Rs 700 on me,” said Bano, who spent Rs 50 from her stock of borrowed Rs 300. She was alone with the baby when she was discharged.
Bano reached her house on her own where she endured a night of curses, only to be turned out the next morning.
The police registered a case against her husband Usman for domestic violence and arrested him after the intervention of activists. The police have also taken Shahrukh, who helped Bano, in preventive custody. According to police, Usman alleged that Bano had relations with Shahrukh.
Nisha Sidhu, state convener of the National Federation of Indian Women, said a couple of people have offered support for Bano.