Neighborhood accepts her, 20 saal baad

AHMEDABAD: The tale of by a might seem from another century but when Abhayam 181 helpline recently got a call from Banaskantha, they were shocked to hear that a woman in her fifties was ‘kept out’ of the community for two decades. The helpline on Sunday reached out to nine villages having the elders of the community — four in Gujarat and five in Rajasthan.
Falguni Patel, coordinator for Abhayam helpline, said that the 53-year-old woman, living in a village bordering Rajasthan, had an altercation with a village chief two decades ago over an issue pertaining to the community. Soon after, the elders (mukhis) of nine villages having majority of the community population, ostracized her.

“She had tried to put up a fight but realized that none of the community members took the ban lightly. She was not invited to any event and was even barred from coming to her parents’ home fearing a backlash. For past five years, no one was ready to work at her farm. A widow, she represented the case to the elders and sought forgiveness but was asked to pay Rs 10 lakh, an amount beyond her reach,” said Patel.

For the sake of her old life and her three sons, the woman decided to go for a last-ditch effort and approached the helpline. A team first went to her village and understood the implications of the ban after which they gathered information and realized that it was an inter-state matter.

“We asked the community elders to forgive her and forget the incident. The community in past two decades came for the first time to her residence on Sunday and had tea, a symbolic acceptance. We have also roped in police to assure that the woman doesn’t face any harassment for involving the helpline in the community matter,” said a 181 official.

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with . Download The for your device. in English and other languages.