The stories of women coming to Dar ul Aman are full of pain and distress, but the walls and hearts for unmarried girls at Dar ul Aman are very conservative. This story is of Noureena whom I met during my visit at Dar ul Aman.
Noureena told that her mother died when she was only 7 years old. Her father remarried without even thinking about her. He used to be around his second wife all the time and didn’t bother about Noureena. Her father’s unconditional love for the second wife put Noureena in realization that her mother died because of her father’s ignorance and carelessness. Her step-mother forced her to look after her two step brothers, in addition to keeping her busy with other household chores. In other words she was working like an unpaid maid. Her two step-brothers were very little to understand the situation. She was continuing her studies despite of all this workload. Finally, she completed her matriculation. During the course, she became friend with a boy on telephone. She shared with him her story and he gave her high hopes. Because of this, she started liking him and felt that her father and step-mother were her biggest enemies.
One day, Noureena took some money and jewelry with her and left the home with that boy to a friend’s place at Lahore and married him. Soon after marriage, that boy took away all the money and jewelry from her showing his concerns that if she would have money she might elope with someone else. Every often, he used to beat her and taunt her on every little thing. Tired of facing this violence, in his absence, she climbed up the wall and ran away from there. She came to Chakwal Dar ul Aman where she met with Bedari representative. Noureena told her story and expressed that her parents won’t accept her and she want to file a case for divorce. She was shattered and broken. Bedari counselor conducted counseling sessions with her and brought her back to life. She was helped to go back to her parents and complete her education so that she can get strong. She was scared of her father. So, after her permission Bedari representative talked to her father to take her home, but he strictly refused to do so. After continuous efforts, Bedari was able to convince him and he took her home. In the meanwhile Bedari kept on following up with Noureena to ensure her security.
Noureena was happy as she was back to her home and her father accepted her. Bedari provided her with a lawyer for divorce. She used to talk to Bedari’s team member on phone regularly. She wanted to study further but her father was not agreeing to it. Bedari again felt a need to convince her father for that. Her father said that if she runs away again, Bedari would be responsible. Listening to this, Bedari team member asked her father to trust Noureena and give her love and care; this will give her courage to discuss any such matter with the family before making any such decision. Educate her well as education will change both the thinking and life of her. Noureena is very happy and thankful to Bedari as she got admission at Punjab College for higher studies.