Cops clueless about helping PLHIV

NAGPUR: Sitabuldi police have little idea how to better the lot of the widow and her eight-year-old daughter, both HIV positive, currently sheltered at a guest house of an NGO near Maharajbaugh.

Soumittra S Bose, for Times of India.

The woman, a graduate in arts, has none to support her in the city, save the police and a handful of social activists from Young Men’s Christian Association. The eyes of the distressed woman, claiming to be a victim of ill-treatment by her in-laws, reflect the turmoil going on in her mind due to the uncertainty over shelter, support and her ailing daughter. Not to mention, her frail health.

Though the police summoned her father-in-law recently to ensure that the helpless woman is allowed to enter her house without any hassles, she has turned down the offer. Completely broken following bitter quarrels, the disgruntled woman had approached Sitabuldi police station around a month ago and sought police intervention in the domestic feud.”My father-in-law does not want me to stay at the house. He insists that I leave the place with my daughter,”she said.

The Sitabuldi police had initially suggested that the distressed woman take legal action and file a suit against anyone who denied her the right to stay at her late husband’s home. However, the police reportedly took more interest after local NGOs and activists started to intervene.

The father-in-law may have objected initially, but he relented after police intervened. But when her father-in-law agreed to allow her into the home, she suddenly refused to accept the offer,”said senior inspector M D Sharanagat of Sitabuldi police station.”The police tried to convince her to return home with the ailing daughter, but it was fruitless.

She seems to have developed some mental block about sharing the house with her father-in-law,”said the senior inspector.”Police is not very keen to book anyone in the case, as there aren’t many legal provisions to back it,”added Sharanagat.

She refused to take help from the police to return to her in-laws house, but took shelter at a religious venue where she was surrounded by people who lives on alms. Neither was the shelter safe for her nor was it hygienic,”said a social worker from YMCA.
Having lost the support of her husband around eight years ago, the women in her mid-thirties has no clue where to find a shelter. The woman had just become a mother when her husband, who ran a paan shop in Sitabuldi, died. She was reportedly diagnosed being HIV positive too, claimed a social worker attached to YMCA. Fate played a cruel game as her ailing daughter, now reportedly under medication for tuberculosis related complications, was also diagnosed HIV positive in due course.

After completing the last rituals of her late husband, the woman had reportedly left for her father’s place at Rajnandgaon. Her stay at her father’s place was recently truncated when her family members reportedly started objecting. She claimed that it was the situation back at her own house that forced her to return to Nagpur in January this year and stay at her in-laws place.”I had to return from my father’s place after other members started objecting to my stay there. I was told to shift back again to Nagpur,”she said.

My father-in-law did not like my returning to his place after eight long years and he has been non-co-operative since my return,”she said.”I was literally left at his mercy for food and shelter,”stated the aggrieved woman.”They also threw away my utensils,”she added.

The woman claimed that she was regularly harassed by her father-in-law and sister-in-law, who settled nearby after marrying someone of her choice.”My father-in-law’s only source of income is the house rent. He gives all of it that amount to my sister-in-law who in turn provides food to me. Me and my daughter’s share was just unpredictable,”she claimed.

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