Aisha Ansari: Fighter, Survivor and Leader

An extraordinary woman fights against domestic violence in Mumbai slums.

Aisha Ansari, resident of the Sathe Nagar Slums in Mumbai, is a woman to be reckoned with. A mother of two, Aisha was a victim of domestic abuse at the mercy of her husband. Her every perceived indiscretion was met with verbal and even physical lashing which she suffered in silence. Her family life was crumbling under the violence. She was losing her self esteem and her children were sliding into depression. Until one day when Aisha decided to take responsibility of her life. She promised herself she would raise her children, she would earn and run her household but no longer would she remain mute.

Aisha Ansari dared to speak out and she got her life back. She found her purpose in life and now, she helps other woman in her neighbourhood leave behind lives lived in violence and abuse and sets them on the path to empowerment. Aisha Ansari has become the voice and face of the empowered women in her community.

Community Correspondent Amol Lalzare who made the video on this extraordinary woman has experienced the trauma of domestic violence at close quarters. “It feels like the walls of your house are closing in on you,” says Amol. 35% of married women in India have been or are victims of domestic violence. The number rises sharply in the slums where rate of domestic abuse which is proportional to alcoholism, unemployment and poverty.

Aisha Ansari’s crusade first took the form of an awareness campaign. She invited prominent police personnel in her area to speak on the subject. The police commissioner assured the women that the law is on their side and is always approachable. All the women have to do is to break the silence and speak out.

Aisha’s activism continues unabated as she attempts to intervene and resolve domestic conflict in Sathe Nagar. Community Correspondent Amol Lalzare will continue to report on her campaign and lend Aisha’s powerful voice and message a platform that will reach beyond the borders of the Mumbai Slum to all the women in the world.  As Aisha puts it- “The first step in breaking the cycle of oppression is ending the silence.”

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