Concern
This child (Ms. Banu) wanted to be rescued from her step-mother’s ill-treatment both emotionally and physically.
(Names changed to protect identity)

Therapy
Ms. Banu’s father (Mr. Salim Khan) was summoned, questioned, counselled, and advised and so was the step-mother Mrs. Seema.

Summary

  • During one Makkala Sahayavani’s awareness programs at a school after the session as usual when it was time for children to ask questions both in the forum as well as individual, this issue was brought up by the child, Ms. Banu, herself.
  • Banu at this point also mentioned that her father knew everything and yet did not act upon anything to help this child.
  • The father had remarried after he lost his first wife (Mrs. Salma) and at that time Ms. Banu was just 2 years old.
  • From the very beginning this child’s misery with her step-mother started. Though initially Mr. Khan was not aware of this, he accepted that he later became aware but did not know how to handle this situation as by then he already had another child from his second wife, Mrs. Seema.
  • It then came to our knowledge that he had married his first wife’s younger sister itself thinking that she would be the best person who could understand the whole situation and be a good mother and wife to both of them. But he stated that things only got worse with time.
  • Banu was not given proper food, and even if she was given the food was stale or it was leftovers.
  • She would keep abusing her saying “I wish you would die like your mother.”
  • The step-mother would use very abused language towards her.
  • She would physically beat her black & blue.
  • She would send her out to play and ask her to come back late, and then take this opportunity and complain to her husband that the child does not obey her and would state that the child might have love interest with boys and is influenced with these feelings and thus comes home so late.
  • After talking to the child, a team from MSV had gone to the child’s house spoke to the family and then went to the school and rescued the child.
  • Both parents were called to our MSV office and counselled.
  • The father agreed that he was aware of what his wife was doing to his elder child but not in a position to help his daughter.
  • The step-mother was spoken to individually and she was counselled as well. She had tremendous insecurity issues.
  • After rigorous counselling for the child and her parents, a written statement was taken from both the parents regarding future care for this child.
  • The step-mother agreed to change her behaviour towards Ms. Banu and Mr. Khan was advised to be more supportive towards his daughter.

Conclusion

  • One of our NGO partners near the child’s school is given the responsibility to keep and close watch on the child and her parents.
  • Even the school authorities were made aware of this situation.
  • Followup is advised for the parents at our MSV centre once every month.