CHENNAI: ‘NIRUTHUDA’ is the new slogan of women in their fight against domestic violence. It is more so for those from the working class, struggling hard to earn and run the family, protecting the kids single handedly as in most cases the husband is an alcoholic.
True, violence against women has gained more traction in recent times at workplaces, educational institutions and the social media. But for women from the working class, it almost is a way of life.
Marking the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, Karunalaya, a city-based NGO, found the perfect stage for creating awareness against the backdrop of the sea and the unbridled chaos of the fishmarket blending with the salty air at ‘Eral (prawn) point’ in Kasimedu.
N Paul Sundar Singh, advocate and Secretary of the NGO, said “Many women in the area dread Sundays because they know for a fact that their husbands would invariably hit the bottle on the day.”
Sharing the same sentiments, Shenbagavalli of Tondiarpet, said she often has to comb the streets at midnight, in search of her drunk husband.
“Everyday on my way from Royapuram to Kasimedu, I check every wine shop on the way to see if my husband is among the crowd,” she said, urging the Government to close TASMAC for good.
The women shared the struggles as the wife of a drunkard – having to single-handedly protect their kids and run the household with what was left from the money spent on alcohol.
Lakshmi of Madha Kovil street said it has been many nights since she slept at peace.
“He comes home when he is drunk and does atrocious things like pouring water on the books when the kids are studying or on the food when I’m eating,” she said.
With the area Inspector Thomson Xavier in attendance, the team called for the elimination of violence against women with their no-nonsense campaign with a no-nonsense name – Niruthuda.
The inspector also emphasised acknowledging the need to stop alcoholism since children as young as eight and nine are exposed to liquor and ganja in the area.
“There are many men who drink thrice a day and their expenses run up to `400 a day. When the woman is running the entire house with what is left, imagine how your lifestyle would change if you could save that money,” he said.
To drive home the point, the team performed a skit portraying the many forms of violence against women, punctuated with their slogan ‘Niruthuda’ throughout, and finished it off with a signature campaign.