‘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.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.