Woman with disability: How worse can it get?

Teena is 34 years old and an 80% visually impaired woman. She contacted the Eyeway Helpdesk from Hapur, Uttar Pradesh. She came to know about the Helpdesk from an acquaintance of hers. She belongs to a farmer family and she is youngest to two elder brothers. She experienced eye-related problems since birth and her vision kept deteriorating. She managed to study up till her MA in Sociology pursuing her education in mainstream institutions.

Immediately after studies she found a job of a playschool teacher and later worked in a financial company as a tele caller before she got married at 24 years. She lived with her husband and in-laws for ten years in Bulandshahr, UP before she was forced out of the relationship. The reasons were nothing new, neither to her nor to her husband’s family. They knew and had agreed to her significant health conditions before marriage. She had a pregnancy related health condition which left her incapable of conceiving alongside having a worsening eye-sight.

But in ten years the circumstances changed. She became a burden for her husband’s family on multiple fronts. The fact that she couldn’t bear a child, her vision kept deteriorating further, and she was financially dependent started to bother her in-laws. This made the family turn hostile towards her. She couldn’t understand the accusations because she hid nothing from her husband about her heath conditions. In fact, she gave up her job in the interests of her husband’s family.

Insensitive to her circumstances, they sent her back to her parents in Hapur. She contacted Eyeway in the middle of this crisis. She called us in fear and despair for her life ahead. Her major concern was financial independence which was not easy for a woman unemployed for the past ten years. Eyeway on comprehending her ordeal suggested her to upgrade her skills. For this the counselor suggested her to enroll for a Computer Training programme in Samarthanam Trust, Delhi.

She moved to Delhi in October 2017 and started living with her uncle’s family in Faridabad. She joined Samarthanam for the training and also found a job as a tele caller with a BPO in Okhla, Delhi. On Eyeway’s follow-up it was known that she is currently working and undergoing the training simultaneously but still remained unsure of her future. She shared her fears which are rooted in the biased social norms, like how can a woman survive with so many ‘limitations’.

Eyeway has put confidence into Teena to overcome the immediate phase of struggle and gradually take over her life. Our Helpdesk counselors will continue to be in touch with her to guide her to transition into a self-reliant woman once again.