She symbolises the real spirit of a mother. In a heart-wrenching incident, a woman of Dimapur, who came to Agra in search of a job, was found drinking drain water along with her two children. She was forced to drink water of the drains only to ensure that she is able to save a few currency notes for her child who has been mortgaged in Nagaland.
Rita, the woman in her late 20s, had arrived in Agra five days ago, along with her brother-in-law, to find a daily wage job.
On Saturday evening, she was spotted drinking water from drain along with her two children (Nandani, 3 years old, and Arun, one-and-a-half-year old) in Shah Market, after which a shopkeeper offered her a water pouch.
There was not a single penny with the woman. For the last five days, she was searching for work but failed to get one. The market from where she was rescued had no public water point.
Failing to understand the poor woman’s language, the locals informed human rights activist Naresh Parashar, who heard the woman’s story and contacted Nagaland police for help.
Naresh said, “For the last four days, the woman was surviving and feeding her children on leftover food thrown in trash-bin and drinking water from drains. She was assaulted by a local shopkeeper earlier for taking a bottle of water to quench her children’s thirst. She even tried to contact local police, but was rebuffed.”
Later, Naresh called emergency women helpline ‘Asha Jyoti Kendra Lucknow’, after which an Agra-based counsellor was sent who along with Naresh interacted with the woman.
Naresh claimed, “During interaction, we came to know that seven months ago, the woman’s husband Mukesh died due to illness and to conduct his last rite, the poor soul took Rs 2000 from a moneylender in exchange for her seven-year-old elder son Sonu. Since she wasn’t able to make enough money to free her son, Rita came along with her brother-in-law Pappu, who deserted and fled away, to Agra.”
In Nagaland, Rita was working as a labourer in a tea-garden and was earning Rs 40 a day.
After hearing the woman’s story, Naresh contacted police officials of Nagaland and shared details about Rita. The police confirmed that the poor woman hails from Dimapur.