Jodi saver

Naziya Shaikh (name changed) was rejected by her husband and in-laws after she gave birth to twin daughters. In January, the Malwani, Malad (West), resident wrote to police, who referred her case to Mahila Dakshata Samiti (MDS) for counselling.

MDS called her husband, who works in London, and told him they would write to his employers. "The husband came to Mumbai last week and agreed to buy another house and stay with his wife and kids," said Qaiser Asif Fasahte.

This is one of several family disputes resolved by the 49-year-old member of MDS formed by DCP (zone 11). In a first-of-its-kind initiative, police stations in the zone have roped in Fasahte and other citizens to counsel couples and others.

This, after police commissioner Satyapal Singh issued a circular to all police stations on November 11 to form committees to resolve domestic issues.

"Police generally cannot interfere in family matters, which is where we come in. We have to resolve each family dispute that comes to us within a month through counseling," said Fasahte.

Since November, the mother of three has resolved over 20 such disputes. "We are not allowed to take cases on our own. Written applications submitted to police are forwarded to us," said Fasahte.

The graduate who has been working as a social worker for the past five years said of the eight police stations in zone 11, most cases of harassment of women were registered at Malwani. "We get 10 applications in a month," she said.

Every week, Fasahte, whose husband works in the cargo department of Pakistan Airlines, counsels at least one family and yet manages to spend quality time with her two sons and a daughter.

"My family is very supportive, without which I would not have been able to unite seven families so far.

... contd.

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