Life has not been a bed of roses for 27-year-old I. Ravithammal ever since her husband left her seven years ago, simply by writing talaq thrice, on a piece of paper.
Though she is struggling to meet her daily needs and educate her children, she helps other women like herself to gain employment.
Ravithammal is among the hundreds of women from across the country who took part in the 7 annual convention of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) held in the city recently.
The main aim of the convention is to create awareness of a draft law prepared by BMMA that calls for a ban on oral talaq and polygyny. It also seeks raising the minimum age limit for marriage to 18 for Muslim girls and 21 for boys.
Ravithammal, who hails from Dindigul, says she is a victim of triple talaq and wants the government to abolish the system.
“After my husband left me, I began working at a construction site. I was employed in a mill later. Now, I earn about Rs. 200 every day,” she says.
Though she is educating her children, she is unable to afford treatment for her seven-year-old son who has only 30 per cent vision in one eye. But this has not deterred her from helping other women. “I try to motivate young girls to be independent. I counsel couples against separation. I don’t want others to meet my fate,” Ravithammal says .
BMMA co-founders Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Safia Niaz say while the Quran has laid down rules, they are often misinterpreted, and this leads to victimisation of women. “We do not want a unified civil code. We want to follow the Muslim Personal Law with modifications that can help women,” says Ms. Niaz.
A. Faizur Rahman, secretary general of Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought, says triple talaq in one sitting is not sanctioned by the Quran. “It has no basis in Islamic law. It is time the Ulema de-legitimised it,” he says.