Stories of Change


The Strength to move on

Razia (name changed) is a resident of the Dhorwada community in Dharavi. Her story began in 2003 when she married Santosh. Santosh, who had gone to the extent of converting to Islam in order to marry Razia, had now disappeared from Razia's life. Razia was left to fend for herself and her infant daughter. Desperate, she approached the Center for Vulnerable Women and Children (CVWC) in August 2007. Her expectation was that the center would help locate her husband and facilitate a reconciliation between them.

As with all victims, Razia was counseled by our staff to make her aware of her own needs and expectations. The staff helped Razia locate her husband who was already married to another woman with whom he had 2 children.

An all-inclusive intervention that included Razia, Santosh and Santosh's other wife was facilitated by our staff. Razia was counseled on her legal rights as a wife, and was empowered by being made a part of both the negotiations that followed and the solution. With the aid of the intervention action process, she felt confident of not wanting to stay married to Santosh and demanded monetary compensation from him as a form of retribution. A financial settlement of Rs. 100,000 was reached that allowed Razia to make a head start in creating a good life for herself and for her daughter.

In Razia's words, “Whenever I come to the Centre, I feel happy to meet with the staff. They have become my support system. I will go ahead in life leaving behind all my problems.