Kiran Sabharwal

Kiran Sabharwal is the first  Indian women who raise voice for the domestic violence..

डोली जा रही है, अब लौटकर अर्थी ही आएगी”, “तू  दो घर की लाज है,” “जिसका पति नहीं उसका कुछ नहीं

I endured everything all my life :

Like every other Indian girl, I also grew up hearing these lines.  I always thought that this is what I need to do in my future and it will help me lead a good married life. “अच्छी बहूबेटीबेहेन  बनना,” I thought this is a responsibility given by God and I have to fit in all these roles, no matter what. And I struggled hard to do it, endured everything all my life.when all had issues I still remember the day I got married; I had dreams in my eyes and nervousness in my heart. I thought it’s my time to fit in the second role of my life, a good “बहू”. I started taking care of my entire family, from my paralyzed father in-law to the kids in the house. I was looking forward to everyone.  But soon, their replies to me, their action towards me and the rules in-house started changing.

 when all had issues with my education :

I was clueless about what is making them prone to my presence in the house. I tried to ask again and again. And one day when the reason was revealed to me, I couldn’t believe my ears.They had issues with my education! They thought I was cunning and termed my open minded outlook as undignified! I was confused and shocked at the same time. I kept asking them “You knew that I am an educated girl, and if you didn’t want an educated daughter in law then, why did you decide to marry your son to me?” I never received any appropriate answer to my question. There were just allegations and curses.

I was disheartened with the sudden change in their behaviour. They were treating me like an untouchable. I was not allowed to touch the almirah, I wasn’t allowed to take food by myself as if I was not a part of their family like I was just a domestic help for them.

तुम लड़की हो सहनशील और सुशील बनना सीखो ”. I don’t know what our “संस्कार ” teaches to be “cultured or coward”. I, like most of the Indian girls, inherited these lines. I didn’t fight back I was enduring everything from domestic violence to character assassination. This society accepts only “good girls,”और अच्छी सिर्फ तब तक जब तक चुप हैजिस दिन बोल पड़ेगी बद्तमीज़ हो जायेगी”.

when I got pregnant :

One day when the doctor confirmed my pregnancy, I thought everything will change, they will be happy, they will now accept me as a part of their family. They actually showed concern but not for the kid’s health or mine but for the “skin colour”. According to them, I was not fair enough to match their beauty standards so they were afraid if my child will inherent the same colour as mine. I was sad, upset and went hopeless when they stopped giving me food during my pregnancy. I know what hunger is, being empty stomach was not new to me. My family was poor and I had starved for days there. But this time, I was pregnant “mera baccha mere kokh me bhukha hai”. This pain was tremendous and for the first time, I decided to fight for myself, I decided to work. I started my job in CC Food and Fertilisers as a Secretary. As usual, my in-laws were not happy with this decision but I didn’t give in to their pressure and continued my job. My colleagues, friends all were very supportive, they used to bring food for me. Later, when I gave birth to my daughter I was happy, my in-laws were also happy, not because she was a new member of the family but because she was fair.

Well, finally when there was a soothing wind of happiness in my life after a huge storm, another storm struck my life, my husband suddenly had a paralysis attack. That pain was unbearable, the glimpses from my past happy days were floating in front of my eyes. I was thinking about my kids and how I will answer them? The fear of losing him scared the insights of my heart. At any cost, I wanted him alive for my kids and for me.I was taking care of his health along with managing my job and kids at home. It was really difficult to deal with the work pressure, and to serve my personal responsibilities. Apart from this, the most hurtful thing was the innocent question of my kids about their father’s health. I had nothing to say, no stories to make up about what was happening to their father. I was somehow managing everything. And, suddenly one fine day my husband apologized for what he did to me. I was dumb, I sat quietly, I didn’t reply, not even a single word came out of my mouth. I was just confused and sad, thinking as to why people apologize when they realize that this is the end of their lives? Why do they feel guilty in the later part? Why do they realize their mistake at the very last moment, when they have already ruined someone else’s life when there is nothing left to change or improve and when nothing can be undone.

My husband’s condition was critical. “He won’t survive for more than a month” this line said by the doctor just shattered me from inside. I couldn’t share it with anyone neither with my kids nor with my so-called relatives. I was alone, feeling disheartened and distressed, that flood of emotions was impossible to bear. Every time I spoke to my husband my voice choked. With each passing day, I saw him dying every single minute. No matter what he did to me somewhere I loved him a lot. After all, he was my husband and a father to my kids. This long association and the feeling of rupture in it hurt a lot.That mournful evening, when he died I, with my three kids were left alone in the hospital. And, before leaving, my sister-in-law said, “साडीज़िन्दगी रोना तो है हीपर बहार जाके रोने का नाटक मत करना ”. I couldn’t react to what she just said. She was also a woman, a mother, a wife. I was downcast by someone from the same gender, who could have understood my feelings better. This ruthless sentence by a “woman” made me feel weaker.I was left with no choice, I could not give up, I had three kids to look after. I tried my best to provide every need to them.  I tried my best to give them the best education possible.Now, my kids have their own families, they are self-dependent and happy which makes me equally happy for them.But, my past still haunts me with some questions, yet to be answered. Why we women dedicate our life to every single role assigned to us by the society? Why can’t we stand against the exploitation of individuals? Why do we fight for our kids and family but not for ourselves?

I know my story is no different from every woman who is traumatized with families like this, but once and for all, we must realize that we are trained to “Adjust not to Rebut”.


  •  I was enduring everything from domestic violence to character assassination.
  • they stopped giving me food during my pregnancy.
  • My husband’s condition was critical.
  • I was downcast by someone from the same gender

This colour discrimination is beyond my understanding in the Indian culture, on one side we worship Kali, Rama, Krishna we portray them beautifully and on the other hand, we do not even appreciate black or dusky people.

Why have we become fine with domestic violence? Why are we ok with stories like mine?

Doesn’t it shatter your heart and strikes your thinking? It seems like we are habituated of living in jeopardy, “वर्ना कन्या पूजन और कन्या भ्रूण हत्या कहा किसी एक देश में साथ देखने को मिलती है ”.

आँखों में आँसू और आँचल में दूध,” this famous saying is used to describe the life of an Indian woman. Unfortunately yes, we have accepted it as our “Destiny”.Today, the events which happened to me might happen to you tomorrow. Never depend or wait for someone else to stand up for you. Learn to raise your own voice for yourself.

We need to be a strong “woman” first, then a mother or a wife.

“Be the master of your Destiny, don’t let someone else decide your life for you”.

Here are one of the poems link about domestic violence by indian artist deepti kulkarni  :

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