Sonia Mushtaq Hussain
Dowry! a cruse or a blessing? It’s something yet to be decided even after centuries of evolved and diverse cultures in Middle-East. However, if we only ponder upon the statistics that how many lives have been ruined in this nugatory debate; no one in their right mind would ever consider to even think about it. The irony is no wants too. Dowry as a concept is something where bride’s family gives cash, property or durable goods to the groom, his parents, or his relatives as a condition of matrimonial bonding. The legitimacy of this practice is nowhere to be found in any existing literature.
Sonia Mushtaq Hussain, resident of Waniawala town, Gujranwala was recently divorced after 6 years of marriage. At the time of her marriage, Sonia didn’t know that her dreams to have a different life after long-lasting penury were just the reveries of deception. Her parents were not entirely capable of giving anything to the groom’s family except abiding the wedding day expenses and their daughter. Questions were not raised on the special day but there was a lot to come. The next day, she was sent home to bring a motorbike for her husband, or stay where she came from. She did, but it never stopped. Month after months, the demands kept rising. She lost her father to depression but the pressure never stopped. 6 years, she took all the soreness of her in-laws and finally, decided to step back. She returned home to her mother, and two younger brothers.
Things were tough here too. Her mother was sick and her two brothers were into child labor, working on daily wages. In-between everything, she lost hope in the notion of change. “I always thought all these miseries were already written in my life and they stop coming”, and she cried. One day, she met her neighbor who was taking a vocational training from centre free of cost. On the presumption that it may help assisting her family finances in anyway; she decided to enroll. At first, her brothers were antagonistic to send their divorced sister out but Sonia’s mother wanted to rejuvenate her expectations towards life. Hence, Sonia met Kaarvan.
Sonia has recently conceded her SFJ training from Kaarvan’s Gujranwala centre. She recalls these three months as the best days of her life. Sonia tells us that she had learned a lot about designing and stitching. Moreover being an uneducated woman, it’s a big deal to have a skill that you can take pride in. She says, “I still don’t know if my brothers will allow me to work outside, but I’m 100% convinced to work from home, and become a helping hand for my family”.