News : Gujarat Helpline Uniting Families Across India
Vadodara, India, June 10, 2015 -- Thirty-year-old Priya (name changed) from Howrah never thought that the promise of a job and marriage could turn into a nightmare in less than 48 hours. Priya took a leap of faith when she boarded a train to Ahmedabad. Her lover and boss for over three years had convinced her that Ahmedabad would be the start of a new life for them.
Within two days of reaching Ahmedabad, Priya found herself abandoned on the road in an alien city where she found it difficult to even communicate. When 181 Abhayam found her she was extremely traumatized and could hardly contain her sobs. The statewide women grievance redressal service has come as an effective help to many such women who lost their way into the state.
The year-old service already has numerous success stories of tracing families in various other states and reuniting them — Priya being one of many success stories. Along with helping women from across the state, 181 Abhayam has rescued over 2,000 from other states too. "Most of these women are from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
But we have rescued women from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal too. After seeing them around for months and noticing that they do not speak the local language, locals inform us," said 181 Abhayam project head Narendrasinh Gohil. "The most common factor that we see among these rescued women is mental illness.
Many of them had boarded the train on an impulse and got down at a railway station again on an impulse. And once they are in an unfamiliar place, they would develop a state of paranoia," Gohil added. Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat report the highest number of such cases.
"These cities are well connected by rail and road and easier to reach, so the numbers of such cases are expectedly high in these areas. Also these cities have a lot of floating population of casual labourers, who come from various states," he said. .
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, June 11, 2015