Saturday, July 5, 2008

Moving out of her house

On Friday afternoon, when we knew that husband would be at work, we took Kamini to her house to help her get some of her things. She gathered up her clothes and some of her kids' things, and then went to talk to her landlady about the deposit she had put down, to make sure that landlady doesn't give that money to her husband, but returns it to us, as we had helped her rent the house.

Husband had called Kamini at Karunya Mane the night before. Kamini refused to speak with him, but let their son talk to dad. He then showed up on the street on Friday, where we work, demanding that we tell her to return home. We told him that she has no desire to return to him. He then said that if she doesn't return home, he'll vacate the house. To which we said fine.

We talked with Kamini about starting a little nonprofit flower "business" at Karunya Mane, as she's skilled at making and selling flower leis for a living. She's quite enthusiastic about doing so, and we'll help her sell the leis in the afternoons to the neighborhood homes.

Husband came to KM on Saturday and tried to push his way into the gate. Security and the manager shoo'ed him back outside. He threatened to return, take the kids away and make them live on the street if Kamini didn't return home with him. Kamini adamantly refused to leave KM, but was visibly shaken. We reiterated to her that she has our full support, and encouraged her to have faith in her strength to live without this man.

Unfortunately, many women in India believe that they can't survive without a husband. Even if the husband doesn't work and does nothing to care for the family, women hold fast to the belief that they need their men. Mary has the self-esteem to take care of herself, happily, without her abusive husband, and we are counseling Kamini to help her develop her self-esteem as well. It will take time, as she's spent her entire life believing that she's not smart and not strong enough to take care of herself, but her own progress and self-improvement to date proves otherwise.