LAHORE Darul Aman should be termed a ray of hope as it provides peaceful environment, food, shelter, education and entertainment as well for the pathetic women who have no protection in the society because of different reasons including divorce, kidnapping or clash of interests with their parents or in-laws etc.
Being run through donations and charity, it enables helpless women to live a better life as they are imparted training of sewing and embroidery along with education. Doctor and psychologist are also there to preserve their mental and physical healthcare. For entertainment, TV sets have been arranged for the inmates. Simultaneously, the women who have to attend court proceeding are provided with security.
In addition, Darul Aman makes arrangements for primary level education of the children living with their mothers. It also tries to settle disputes between women and their families. However, sometimes such interventions fail to yield positive results.
Darul Aman also arranges second marriages of those inmates who desire for starting new life via marriage bureaus. For instance, Farzana is eagerly waiting for the day when she will leave Darul Aman to live with her husband. The Nikah (marriage contract) has already been performed, but some legal formalities are yet to be fulfilled in a court of law. On the other side, her parents alleged that she had been kidnapped which she denied.
The matter is under investigation and sub judice and after a court verdict, she will leave the place where she has been living for the last one month. a top official of Darul Aman said.
Sonam (19), who belongs to Lahore, said she studied up to matriculation and had been living in Darul Aman for the last one month. She said she was the victim of a forced marriage with a person who was involved in prostitution business. After marriage, she said, her husband also tried to sell her to his friends but she managed to escape from there and came back to her parents house. She told her family about the dirty business and asserted not to go back to her husband. However, she was divorced after two months. Sonams family doesnt know if she is living in Darul Aman. Now she is hankering after some independent place where she herself could earn her livelihood. But she doesnt know how long she will have to wait for the day.
Moazama (20) belongs to Khoshab district. The girl, who has done FA, is facing the same problems as Sonams. She said that her parents forced her to get married against her will so as to gain some financial interests. She added that her husband used to spending no time with her. She claimed to have been living a life sans love, complaining that he also used to thrashing her. Resultantly, she said, she went back to her parents home but could not be accepted there and got refuge in Darul Aman.
Illiterate Naziya (19) belongs to some village in Larkana, Sindh. Naziya, who has been living at there for the last five months, said that she was married to her cousin on gun point whereas her husband liked another girl because of property issues. She was divorced three months after the marriage. She could not adjust with her parents and decided to come to Darul Aman.
Darul Aman is situated at 36/30- E Near Police Station Nawan Kot , Band Road, Chowk Yateem Khana ,Multan Road Lahore. It has been operational for the last eight years. Majority of the inmates are either married or divorced. They stay there till they get a better option for their further life to live. Those who are not fortunate enough to get a better chance have to spend years there.
Contributed by internee Sadia Zaheer