Single moms in Ghy: Daily struggle, little social acceptance
GUWAHATI: For the kids who grow up without the presence of either their father or their mother, the (single) parent who is around them all the time is a hero.
She or he is a hero for the society too. But, society at large is spiteful enough and easily ready to accept this - especially when that parent is the mother.
The duties of a single parent are no different from that of the married ones, except for the difference that the single parents have to act both as the mother and father for their children.
Controversies sparked recently when a 27-year-old woman alleged that a private school in Mumbai denied admission to her seven-year-old son since she is a single mother.
The issue gained even more prominence with the union minister of women & child development, Smriti Irani, raising the matter with the HRD ministry.
However, the condition faced by the woman is not new for thousands of single mothers residing in this part of the country.
“It was always I who had to attend my daughter’s parent-teacher meets at her school. My husband left me when I was five months pregnant. I never begged him to return. I went back to my parents’ house and have not looked back since then,” told Krishangee (name changed as she did not want to disclose her identity) in a conversation with G Plus.
A resident of Zoo Road in Guwahati, Krishangee works at a bank. Her daughter (20) is currently studying in Mumbai University.
“At first I was unsure of the finances and got worried as to how I would handle all this alone. But my mother and father had always supported me. They used to take care of my daughter when I was not around,” reminisces Krishangee.
A single mother’s plight does not end with the financial worries; rather it’s the beginning of an endless list of social and emotional problems.
While describing the state of affairs a single mother has to go through, Monimala, a mother of two said, “Though I had to fill up my husband’s name in the father’s name section when I admitted my children to school, I felt that he was never responsible enough for my children. It was difficult for me to raise my kids all alone as a single mother. But, I hope that they will be mature enough to understand my situation when they grow up. After my divorce, I didn’t even ask for any alimony; I just wanted to stay away from my husband.”
Monimala currently works at an insurance company in Guwahati and has the custody of both her children.
She got out of an abusive marital life after either years of her marriage and was determined to raise her children all alone.
“Bearing expenses on my own was a problem for me initially, but I knew that I would be able to provide a safe environment to my children. At least, my children will not have to see their father beating their mother for no reason,” said Monimala with tears in her eyes.
It’s not always an abusive marriage that ends up for a mother to raise her child alone. Sometimes, it’s the decision of God that nobody can escape.
Rajashree, a 35-year old woman from Uzan Bazar area in Guwahti said, “My husband’s family threw me and my two children out after my husband died. We did not have a place to stay, nor did I have a job. We had seen extreme poverty. It was very difficult for me to convince myself that I was a widow. I had so many responsibilities. I had to find a job, a house and what not. At times, I felt like everything was crashing over me.”
Rajashree found herself a job at a supermarket. She now sends both her children to school and makes her ends meet with the little amount of money she earns.
The list of mothers who have given away everything to bring their kids up does not end here.
According to a UN report, an estimated 4.5% of all Indian households are run by a single mother.
Parenting as a single mother is a tough job with numerous circumstantial issues that harass the mother every day. Still, the brave ladies have been beating all the odds to raise their kids with whatever help they are getting from the society.