Ranchi: Nagma, a
Muslim woman, delivered a baby boy in a Ranchi remand home last
month. Her husband, a Hindu, is in jail on charges of rape and
abduction filed by her parents after the two married against their
wishes last year.
Nagma's parents were informed about the birth of her son in April
but they did not come to take her home or to even see the baby.
The authorities also informed her husband's elder brother, but he
too refused to support Nagma.
Destitute, mentally challenged or facing criminal charges, the
majority of the 46 women and girls in the state-run remand home
for women here crave to return home to their families. But like in
Nagma's case, no one's coming.
Nagma hails from Ramgarh district in Jharkhand. After her husband
was sent to jail, a court sent her to the remand home.
"Her parents refused to take her, saying she married against their
wishes, and her husband's elder brother refused help saying his
brother was in jail," Amita Ekka, principal probation officer of
the remand home, told IANS.
Another 16-year-old inmate of the remand home who was granted bail
in a penal offence wants to go back to the house of her maternal
uncle, but he is not interested.
Her parents died long ago and her maternal uncle adopted her. She
was allegedly ill-treated by her uncle's family and was later
handed over to police on charges of wrong-doing. But despite the
ill-treatment, she still wants to go back to the house of her
Of the 46 inmates in the remand home, 30 are destitute. Five are
mentally challenged, undergoing treatment at Ranchi hospitals.
"A majority of the destitute girls living here do not have correct
home addresses. We write to their parents when we get the exact
address. Sometimes our men take the girls to those village markets
from where they may have got separated from their parents. It
works at times," said Ekka.
Ammesha, 13, is another inmate who wants her family back. She was
brought here from New Delhi's Nirmal Chayya welfare home. But the
hurdle is she only knows the name of her district - Jamshedpur.
The remand home has also helped a few destitute women start life
afresh. Around 16 got married in the last seven years. Two managed
to get government jobs.
Thirteen girls in the home go to school. "We try to provide a
homely environment in the remand home. Apart from providing
education, we make arrangements for the treatment of mentally
challenged girls," said Ekka.
The Supreme Court's Justice Altamas Kabir is a frequent visitor to
the remand home. He even blessed many girls on their marriages at
the remand home, said Ekka.
Though some inmates are facing criminals charges, the authorities
try to treat them equally.
(Nityanand Shukla can
be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)