Wednesday 23 July 2008

Bang Opposite My Desk...

In our office sitting arrangments keeps getting reshuffled. As a result right now, bang opposite my desk sits our women's justice lawyer. A young fiesty UPite girl [if you think UPites are backdated people, meet these young women of my office, each a pataka (firework) in her own right and challenge all the misdeeds of patriarchy with full gusto, I know for sure I am not as brave as them] is our women's justice lawyer, lets just call her A. Though she is worth a piece any day, today I dont want to talk about her, rather her clients. She keeps getting battered, shattered, abused and discriminated women who come to her as last option. Many times they do not even know what they want, why they have come, what fight a legal battle entails. Sometimes parents or other relatives accompany them, sometimes not. Many come with small children. The common unifier is that all these women have faced violence or been severely discriminated and are too poor, hence visit to a pro bono advocate.
Today she got a client who faced indiscriminate violence in her marraige for the last five years. The client looked barely 21.When these clients come, I try to be as inconspicuous as possible and melt to the background. But sooner or later, their stories are so overwhelmingly sad, that I give up all pretences of working, and listen shamelessly. Sometimes I rush to the tiolet, choking back emotion. And I look at our women's justice lawyer marvelling at her strenght. If I met such battered women continously I am sure I would get severely depressed. Yet she carries on with passion-- passion to bring justice to these women who were most violently treated by the very men who were supposed to protect them.

11 comments:

  1. am sure...since u urself till not so long ago was one of those kill bill lawyers....though you never sat opposite me...if u did am sure we wld have chatted and eaten the whole time...right now a baby is screaming at the top of lungs bang opposite my desk...

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  2. It sounds like you are involved in such an amazing process. If I had to deal with abuse on a daily basis I would not cope well at all. I am waaayyyy too emotional. Good for you and the woman you work with.

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  3. I once had this crazy client who was screaming at the top of her lungs because there was nothing that could have been done, and anyways she had a severe mental condition so I was only quietly listening to her screaming and our pretty boy kept calling me on my extension telling me this is unprofessional!!! I felt like beating up pretty boy!!!

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  4. yes jell the organization i work for does some amazing work and some of my colleagues are really brave people...one of them has commented also right here...anugem aka anubha is a women's justice laweyer while the other frequent reader/commenter on my blog muthu is a disability rights specialist...both are really strong women with their perspectives right in place, some of the fights they fight for other people is worth saluting... i am just support person...i manage projects and some other stuff...and mostly onlooker...

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  5. tell me about it anubha...am ready to bash up pretty boy...bugger he is...

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  6. And this happens in all our offices across the country. To that extent I really commend Sheela for the work she has done on the victims of Acid Attacks. Suchi you must meet Haseena who had acid thrown on her for spurning the advances of that rougue who poured it on her. Despite all that has happened to her which includes losing her eyesight she says she will fight against acid attacks. I dare not call her a victim. Anubha has met her I think.

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  7. muthu i met hasina...was part of that press conference that was arranged for her here in delhi...

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  8. Ok, I know I am going to sound like a real foreigner, but I cant believe the acid attacks still take place... I have heard about them, and think this is revolting. Keep it up guys...Muthu, feel close to your work, I have a disabled sister...

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  9. jell acid attacks are newly emergent form of violence against women in the sub continent...mostly prevalent in india and bangladesh and it disfigures and disables women for life...done by the most commonly available acid in the market the sulphuric acid...and yes the numbers are shooting up...mostly it is frustrated or jilted or rejected lovers...like the case muthu is talking abt...this girl refused the advances of her boss, so one fine morning he came and threw acid on her face and maimed her for life just like that...one of our senior lawyers took her to court...the judge actually said that he is a young man, what he did was out of love...we managed to get the first ever conviction against acid attack victims...now a campaign against acid attack has started in the country spl in karnataka...there is even a documentary...if u see it the victims are so vulnerable yet so strong that you just rage at the unfairness of life...wow i am on my pet peev...and i promised myself that i would not talk shop here...:)

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  10. Jell: Apart from being a horrendous form of violence against women, it is also a an expression of what women are valued for in this society, which is their physical appeareance...so it is a way for a man to communiacte to the woman that if you refuse me I won't leave you 'worthy' enough for anyone else. The spirit that Haseena shows in this struggle is awesome and is her way of saying that you can disfgure my physical self but my actual self you cannot touch!!!

    Muthu: Yup I have met her and I had an acid attack client here in Delhi too.

    Suchi: The trial court judge even said that if haseena would have agreed to Joseph Rodrigues advances all this would not have happened!!!

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