Touching Lives Through Snehitha... by Jesmine George

Touching Lives Through Snehitha

Jesmine George
  Counselor - SNEHITHA,
Ernakulam District

Since last five years, as a team member of Snehitha, I got a lot of opportunities to explore myself and get motivated to work as an agent for change. Though gender has been discussed and questioned years before, the cases reporting in Snehitha indicates that several hidden discrimination exists which are needed to be discussed further.

Recently Snehitha intervened in the case of a 23 year old lady, who got married four years before, to a person of different religion. For this reason the client’s kin ceased all relations with her. When the case was registered to Snehitha the client’s concern was that she wants to move away from her spouse’s family. The spouse and his family also tried to abandon her for the reason that she is seen with a nearby guy in a suspectable situation. The entire family was blaming extramarital relationship in her. 

When the community counselor interacted with the client, she denied the relationship and told her that she was blackmailed by that guy and attacked by him. He is a stranger for her and he blackmailed her by saying that he had her bathroom videos with him. From the observation and the interaction with the client and her neighbors the community counselor suspected whether the client has some grievances inside the family. The client, her husband and in laws were called to Snehitha for discussing the issue. Through counseling Snehitha gained a rapport with the client, and she ventilated all her difficulties she faced during her last four years. Her situation was almost like a domesticated parrot. Through counseling mediation and providing family life education Snehitha intervened in her felt needs and improved the quality of her marital life. The husband who came Snehitha with enthusiasm to expel her from his life is convinced and changed totally. He took a strong decision to lead a better life with the client by ignoring all stigmas associating with them and by breaking the present gender based culture inside the family. 

Snehitha through its network found to be more accessible to the people in need and even they felt more comfortable to report their issues. Besides the law and order, Snehitha, through its counseling, mediation, follow-ups and by converging with other Kudumbashree programs, improved the quality of living of several people and tried to distract stereotypes associating with gender.