True Stories:
This Book:
Story 20

The story of

success story :
the outcome of Community Service Program| SEHER

“The story of Mannat"

picture of Mannat

Mannat, 30, lived in a rented house at Lohiyanagar with her husband. Her in-laws stayed at a nearby house in the same neighborhood. She had studied only up to standard 2, thereafter she dropped out. She had been married for the past 7-8 years.

Hers was a love marriage, her in laws have not ‘accepted’ her yet, in their family as a result of this.

Mannat's family, her brother, his family and 1 other sister stayed in the same neighborhood and are supportive of her. She has 2 other sisters who stay out of Pune and are not in touch with her on a frequent basis. Her husband was addicted to alcohol since the past many years. He worked as an electrician under a contractor and got wages on a daily basis as per the work done.

Mannat is a housewife and makes small jewellery at home. She takes orders from another person who pays her as per her work done. She started working only recently.

Initially all seemed well inspite of the husband’s addiction. Slowly they started having fights everyday over his addiction.Many a times he used to pass out on the streets of the

community and Mannat had to literally lift him up and get him to their house. She was very embarrassed by this. All his clothes used to be dirty, he used to smell, people used to make fun of him, her in-laws blamed her for this, but never helped her even in such situations. They blamed her for having given birth to a girl child; and did not accept the child either.

She was very reluctant in asking help from her parents, as she felt guilty of being blinded by love and marrying such a man. She felt humiliated by him and felt very insulted every time her in-laws taunted her or showed their discontent towards her and her child in family or in social situations.

She started putting on weight.

She had many physical complaints; she never used to eat. She had sleep problems. She had a negative self image. She often blamed herself. She is very scared by the thought of a second child. During assessment interviews, she cried a lot.

Initially, she did not come to the first few sessions. Once she started coming she attended regularly. She used to communicate that all is well with her, to the group members. She never really talked about her situation at home, fearing blaming by others. She never used to speak much with others and

restricted her interactions to the facilitator only. Slowly, she started opening up and shared her story with others in the group. She expressed a wish to restart her education and of her own initiative got a book and a pen to the sessions to learn few words from other group members.

She used to practice the breathing exercises and songs at her house. She reported of feeling better by doing this. She shared that she liked coming to the sessions and slowly started bringing a couple of other women from her neighborhood to the group sessions.

She became aware of the way she dressed and took care to groom her ‘self’ before the group sessions. Her physical complaints started reducing. She started seeking help for her husband’s addiction. She visited a municipal hospital and started de-addiction medications for her husband.

Her husband has currently stopped drinking and helps her in the household chores. She became more assertive in her communication and behavior with her in-laws. There is a change in her thinking from ‘helpless, guilty, self blaming’ to ‘taking responsibility and being able to make choices’. She suggested de-addiction strategies to her sister in law for her brother and tries to motivate her to try doing

the things that she has done and benefitted from.

Mannat, lives a simple life, with small dreams, her only aspiration is to be happy, to see her family happy, like all other human beings. But when you consider the context she has been through, continues to be through on a daily basis, you get a sense of the extraordinary efforts she has had to make to be able to come this far- to be able to atleast say- what she wishes!

This was story 20. It is a true story.

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