On a cold, foggy morning, amidst the by-lanes of a part of New Delhi, Farida Khan stood interacting with her students.
Now director of Pehchan, an NGO for the education of young girls, she was given triple talaq 30 years ago.
Triple talaq has been making headlines in India due to an ongoing debate between those who seek to abolish the exploitative practice of instantly divorcing Sunni Muslim women by thrice repeating ‘talaq’, and those who believe the religious practice should not be tampered with.
On Thursday, the Allahabad High Court declared triple talaq to be unconstitutional, calling it “a violation of the rights of Muslim women”
Farida’s NGO is a coaching centre that prepares girls for the Board examinations. All Pehchan students are girls who were forced to drop out of school by their families. Farida accepted that the first few steps were the hardest, but gradually the protest waned. The number of girls is increasing every year, along with the families’ willingness to relent. Farida said education in young girls is one of the most important causes to pursue.
In a gross distortion of the Quranic text, the practice of triple talaq leaves women completely at the mercy of their husbands. However, Farida adds that triple talaq in no way left her feeling victimised. The real victims are the men who give triple talaq, she concluded with a smile.
Camera: Ankit Vengurlekar
Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam