Naari Adaalat

(Women Court)/ Women Power

Realizing that the GBV or spousal violence is one of the prominent issue where women needs assistance, RJVS / RMM has decided to start a counselling centre for the district. The centre has been highly successful and being aclaimed widely not only in the district but from far and near states of India. This has become a house hold name in the district and distressed women are referred to this centre by one and all.

Girl in a jacket

Dignity, Respect, and justice for all..

With an aim to support the poor, exploited, illiterate, marginalized women to solve their domestic or other disputes fast and at low cost, RJVS & RMM runs a counseling Center with a women’s court called Naari Adaalat.  “A platform by women, for women” from 2010 onwards in the district of Rajsamand, women do not have to wander for months nor do the rounds of courts for justice. It is the low cost system run by women collective named Naari Adaalat where the decision maker are the women and whatever is the decision will be  a consensus decision without compromising the rights of survivor women. This collective also provide an opportunity to model and promote more equitable gender norms.

Highlights

  • 25 Women Members Committee
  • Registration is done every day between 10 am – 5 pm
  • Rural women, who run the court, are not very educated but they have a good understanding of community customs issues, laws which helps them in quick understanding & counseling.
  • They follow equal and non discriminatory approach.
  • Monthly two meetings are held on fixed dates with survivors and culprits in office.
  • Counseling session with survivors and culprits.
  • Empower the survivors by helping to get benefit through various government schemes.
  • Keep in touch with the survivor and have conversation through phone/home visit. Take proper follow up of the cases and update it.
  • If the case is solved to the mutual satisfaction of all parties, collect sign from the survivor and culprits in an agreement form.
  • The centre enjoys envious credibility that case comes from not only Rajsamand itself but also nearby districts like Udaipur, Bhilwara, and Chitorgarh and from other states like Gujarat, Maharashtra too.

LIVES APPROACH with victims

L-istening-Listen to the woman closely, with empathy, and without judging

I-NQUIRING ABOUT NEEDS AND CONCERNS-Assess and respond to her various needs and concerns – emotional, physical, social and practical (e.g. childcare)

V-alidating- Show her that you understand and believe her. Assure her that she is not to blame

E-nhancing safety-Discuss a plan to protect herself from further harm if violence occurs again

S-upporting- Support her by helping her to access information, services and social support

Case Study

My Choice , My concern

kushbooKhushboo Gadri , who lives in the  Khamnor block of Rajsamand district,Rajasthan got married when she was young. Khushboo Gadri’s and her brother’s  Atta-Satta ( exchange marriage) happened, when both were small. They did not understand anything about marriage but when Khushboo grew up, she saw that her brother’s wife is coming and staying but she did not visit her in-laws even once. When she wanted to know about the reason behind it, she came to know that the boy is a mentally disordered person.  Khushboo said that if he is mad then I will not marry him and go.The family members of Khushboo  also refused for marriage but Khushboo was repeatedly called by her in-laws. The mother-in-law of Khushboo said that my son will be cured only when she starts coming here, but the family members of Khushboo insisted that we will send our girl only after the boy is treated and recovered. 6 – 7 years have passed and the boy did not  recover. On getting such information that his condition continues to deteriorate, then Khushbu and her family asked for a divorce. The in-laws demanded the amount of compensation (called “jhagada rashi” as per the prevailing caste laws from them). A lot of time passed and the family members of Khushboo were also worried about Khushboo. Unless there is a final agreement regarding the divorce from her in-laws, she cannot enter into  another marriage and for the divorce, her in-laws demand Rs 4-5 lakh from her as a dispute amount. This thing was beginning to persecute the Gadri family, that how could they manage such a huge amount of money. They had no means because Khushboo did not even have a father.

At that time someone told them that there is a women’s forum called Rajsamand Mahila Manch(RMM) in Rajsamand where such women’s problems are solved. One day Khushboo’s brother came to the Mahila Manch office and he told the whole thing to the counselor.The counselor here explained the whole process and also asked to bring his sister along. On 21/8/2020, Khushboo has registered the case in the Rajsamand Mahila Manch office. On asking for the details about her in-laws, she told the counselor that the boy is a person with mental disorder, how will I stay with him? I want a divorce from him, then the counselor of the Mahila Manch explained to Khushboo that you will not have to pay any dispute amount but we will have to investigate before giving any assurance. We will go to your in-laws, will do the fact-findings and then we will take further action. Khushboo Gadri’s family agreed.

A short time later the workers of Mahila Manch went to Khushboo’s in-laws and saw that the husband of Khushboo Gadri was sitting quietly and his condition was not good, he was sitting like a mentally disturbed person. Still, his mother was saying that he will be cured, then the RMM workers said that if he has not been cured for  past few  years, then how he will be cured  now? The in-laws then said that if we leave the relationship then amount of dispute needs to be paid. Since they knew that Khushboo’s family would not be able to give such an amount and Khushboo will have to stay in this relationship.

After hearing this all the workers came from there and considering the whole situation Khushboo Gadri was called for counseling and breefing. Khushboo came to the Manch and said that what should we do now as the members of our Caste panchayat are harassing us by coming to my house. She was advised to tell everyone to come to the Naari Adalat where the final decision will be made and you do not have to pay even a single penny. Khushboo’s in-laws and Caste leaders were about the Rajsamand Mahila Manch(RMM), they were scared and they refused to take the Jhagda amount. They signed in the documents by mentioning that they do not want anything from  Khushboo Gadri and they are ready to end the marriage, and in this way, Khushboo ended the relationship happily forever.

After few days Khushboo Gadri came to the office and was happy that she ended up the relation without paying the disputed amount. She said that on the second day after the Naari Adalat visited her inlaws, people from my in-laws and people of the Caste Panchayat also came to my house and they took the final decision. She thanked all the workers of Mahila Manch and Naari Adalat for their immense support and love.

Khushboo Gadari was very happy that now she will be free from bondage and now  she can live her life in a new way. She is happy that now she will get a life partner of her choice and also she is happy now that she spent so many days in worry, she has got rid of it. In the future whatever decision will be made in her life will be her own.