When a woman in Gujarat called up 181, the State helpline Abhayam, to register a complaint and seek police intervention, the team handling the call was concerned and with their usual tone asked for details to the caller. The caller was an educated young woman from Vadodara. She complained that it was regarding her 87 year old mother in law. The team thought it must be a typical saas bahu fight but they were shocked when the woman went ahead with the telephonic complaint.
She complained that her 87 year old mother in law was being harassed by her husband. The daughter in law said that her mother in law was a nice woman who had been bed ridden for about 15 months. Her husband(the caller’s father in law) was an 89 year old retired engineer. The complaint was that the 89 year old was forcing the 87 year old for sex but the old bedridden woman was not in a postition. When she would refuse, the man would initiate a fight and harass the woman physically and verbally.
The old mother in law was fed up with the constant harassment and wanted a police complaint to be registered. The Abhayam team reached the Vadodara residence of the old woman and after listening to her story asked the old woman whether she wanted to go ahead registering a police complaint or wanted counseling for her husband. The old woman had also shared her plight with her neighbours and her society acquaintances.
The old woman said she would go in for counseling.An expert team counseled the 89 year old husband and explained to him how he should be understanding about his wife’s physical and mental condition.The Abhayam team had also requested the old man’s son to take his father for regular mental health counseling.