The story of one woman's suffering but also one of hundred others
coming together in a collective demonstration of solidarity that
brought positive change
Gurji Khei is a widow from an
extremely backward and marginalized section of society. She lives
in a little one-room hutment, outside Malpada, her village in
a house granted to her under the Indira Awas Yojana . Gurji Khei's
life has seen turmoil and anguish.
As the wife of a migrant labourer,
she and her husband lived in Nagpur for many years. He died there
and Gurji Khei had to return to her village with her three children
where she worked as daily wage labour at a construction site.
A relationship with the house builder resulted in the birth of
a son, after which, he deserted her.
Women from 20 villages then came
together to conduct rallies and processions to pressurize the
man into recognizing Gurji Khei's right to maintenance for herself
and her child. They worked out a compromise with the man who agreed
to compensate her with a house to live in and a monthly maintenance.
The case was not to end there however, because he failed to honour
The group then approached a lawyer
to facilitate court proceedings. With support from Vikalpa, a
local NGO, legal proceedings were initiated to seek justice for
Gurji Khei. The court of the Judicial Magistrate I class, Kantabanji,
ruled that a maintenance of Rs.400/- be paid to the child.
There are probably many women
like Gurji Khei across the country, who have similar stories to
tell. CDL is committed to telling their stories. Read