Lakshmi (name changed), a domestic worker known for her vibrant personality and punctuality, arrived at work dressed neatly each day. She exuded energy and never took breaks from her duties. Lakshmi, who was married to Hari (name changed), a vegetable vendor, had three sons.
However, there was concern when Lakshmi didn’t show up for work for three consecutive days, and her phone was unreachable. On the fourth day, she arrived with visible signs of distress – limping, a bruised face, and draped in a sari.
Pressed to share the truth, Lakshmi revealed that her husband had physically abused her, leaving her severely injured. He had also damaged her phone. In response, Lakshmi had sent her children to stay with her brother for their safety. She confided that such incidents were a common occurrence in her household.
The cause of the violence was Hari’s anger over not receiving his expected share of Lakshmi’s salary. When she refused to give him the money, which he intended to use for alcohol, he resorted to physical violence. When suggested that Lakshmi seek help from the police or a women’s welfare organization, she declined, fearing that it might lead to losing Hari completely. Despite his mistreatment, she chose to endure it and hoped that he would change his ways one day, longing for things to return to the way they used to be. Lakshmi had learned to live with the situation.
Despite the hardships she faced, Lakshmi maintained a smile on her face and continued to carry out her work with enthusiasm and passion.
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