Rama with her children
Rama with her children

Indore: The struggle of Rama Chouhan, a 42-year-old dress designer and beautician, is an eye opener for those who lose hope easily. Sharing her story, Rama said, “I was an ordinary girl who did not dream big and just wanted to study.” She said she was a sincere student whom teachers admired. But something went wrong as she turned 16.

“Roadside Romeos abound in India and it was one of those Romeos who landed at my parents’ place asking for my hand in marriage,” Rama recalled. Her parents felt that marrying her off would reduce their financial burden.

“So, I was married to Brajesh Singh Chouhan, a Rajput , who was a lottery seller,” Rama said. She adjusted to her new of way of life and followed family customs. She got pregnant soon after marriage. Her marital life received first jolt on ‘Karwa Chauth’ when Chouhan returned home drunk and beat his pregnant wife.

“Being drunk, he never had reason to be violent or abusive but it was a trend that women had to bear it,” Rama said. Just before her delivery, her parents invited her to live with them for a couple of months.

“They wanted to take care for my newborn baby but those couple of months turned into years,” Rama said. Chouhan moved to her parents’ house and left his job. “My parents supported him saying it is a trend whenever he beat me and my newborn son,” Rama said. Unable to fight back the well-built husband who stood six feet, three-inch tall, she learned to live with it.

“I had almost accepted that life will never get better but I could not bear my children getting beaten up, so I fought back,” Rama remarked. As her children joined school, she looked for ways to become self-reliant.

“By 2004, I managed to save some money and took up beautician’s course,” Rama said. Sadly, her money was not enough to complete the course but she learned enough from training to begin the practice. “I started by providing home service and saved the money for skill training courses,” Rama said. With saved money, she completed her dress designing course.

In two-year’s time, she became financially independent to handle expenses of household and her children’s education. “I sought divorce from my husband who agreed eventually,” Rama said.

In the last 12 years, she has brought up her children and taught them to respect each other. “My son is not like my ex-husband, he respects women and that is my achievement,” Rama said.  “My son is not like my ex-husband, he respects women and that is my achievement.”

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