JAMMU, Jan 13: In a story unfolding from Satwari area of Jammu, Shilpa Kumari, an 18 year old domestic servant who works at the house of Mrs. Padma Manhas has accused her of physical and mental abuse. Padma, also the mother of rising star in the game of cricket Mithun Manhas allegedly kept the victim in severe conditions and tortured her for years.
The victim suffered bouts of atrocities since childhood. Her father abandoned her after the mother died when she was a little child leaving her and her siblings to dust. Leading their lives through stark poverty and helplessness, they took refuge in the house of the accused in 2003. Sadly, life did change but only for worse. The accused was sent to work as a servant to other households while her brother Shiv Kumar, used to work at the house of the accused. The accused also sent victim’s younger brother Shibam Kumar to work at her son’s house in Delhi and sister to a resident in Satwari, Jammu. In 2011, when Shiv left the work at the house of the accused, Shilpa was taken in to replace him.
Shilpa informed that the accused beats her mercilessly for no apparent reason. On repeated requests to quit, the accused restricted her movement, confined her to the boundaries of the house. She is not allowed to go out or to live with her brother who resides at Shiv Mandir, Sidra. She tells that this has been the story of her life for last 5 years. Her requests to know the whereabouts of her younger brother who had been sent to Delhi have received no answers. She hasn’t seen him for 13 years! Shilpa also alleges that she has not been paid a penny till date!
Domestic servants, who are the keepers of our households are also the one who have suffered terribly, without uttering a word, they have accepted their fate. This unimportant, displaced, downtrodden, neglected part of the society will no place left in the social fabric if they are treated inhumanly. Shilpa’s story doesn’t end here.
Sustaining years of physical and mental exploitation, she decided to commit suicide in 2015. She consumed poison, the only way she thought that would put an end to her misery. She was taken to the Bakshi Nagar Hospital whereupon her condition was treated and stabilised. The accused threatened her and compelled her to admit that she consumed it by accident. The matter is now under investigation after an FIR was registered at the Women Cell, Gandhinagar.