‘I want to visit place where my husband fought bravely’
"I met Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who said I looked her daughter's age. And then, she gave my hand to my brother-in-law at Rashtrapati Bhawan itself," she recollects.
And while Indira Gandhi kept writing letters to Chitra Devi, her in-laws allegedly never let the letters reach the young widow. What followed in personal life was nothing but continuation of the sorrow she began her married life with. "Till date, I do not have any documentary evidence of my marriage with by brother-in- law. But I have two sons and a daughter with him. My mother-in-law would call me cursed and say I should stay away from her second son else I would be the reason for his death too. I would a receive pension of Rs 57 per month, which increased to Rs 376. Half of it would be taken by my in-laws. My children with my brother-in-law have still not been given the status of heir of Anusuya Prasad," she said.
Chitra Devi, who had passed Class V at the time of marriage, cleared high school in 1992-93 despite the torturous life of a widow that involved not allowing her to wear new clothes, letting her to talk to strangers and barring her from attending ceremonies besides others. In 2002, I started an organisation called Veer Shaheed Anusuya Prasad (MVC) Mahila Samiti in Bhauwala, Dehradun, working for women empowerment. "Now, there are just two things I want to do — empower other women and visit the place where my husband fought bravely, for which I need a passport," she said.