Bhopal: Post-lockdown reverse migration leading to marital discord 

Women not ready to live in villages with in-laws; seeking maintenance, divorce  

Staff ReporterUpdated: Friday, January 20, 2023, 11:10 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Over the past three months, more than 30 cases, in which wives are not ready to shift to villages from cities, have come up before the Bhopal District court.

Some of them have preferred shifting to their maternal homes instead of living in the villages with their husbands and in-laws, and have filed cases seeking maintenance and even divorce. 

All these are one of the numerous side-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to forced reverse-migration of families from cities to the villages due to loss of jobs and livelihoods.   

According to counsellors at the family court, most of the wives do not like the social restrictions that rural life involves. Moreover, they have to live with their in-laws in the villages, which restrict their freedom. 

Sindhu Dholpure, one of the counsellors, says that in a few cases a compromise could be reached only after the husbands agreed to move back to the cities. In most of such cases, the husbands lost their jobs in cities during or after the Covid lockdowns. Left with no means of livelihood and unable to pay rents, they returned to their native villages, where they were at least assured of a roof over their heads and two square meals a day. Their wives, however, are unwilling to live in the rural areas.

Case I

The husband is living with his parents in a village near Hoshangabad whereas the wife is staying with her parents at Bhopal. The wife says that the husband and all his brothers used to live in Bhopal. She too moved to the city after marriage. The factory, however, in which the man worked, laid him off after the second wave of the pandemic. He shifted to his native village, where he helps his parents in farming. The wife, however, is not ready to live in the village.

Case II

The wife has filed a case seeking maintenance against her husband, who has shifted to his ancestral village in the Satna district after he lost his job in Bhopal. The wife did not accompany him and stayed back in the city. She says she had not married a city-dweller to spend her life in a backward village with no amenities and no means of entertainment.  

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