Troubled over the plight of a single mother, Kerala High Court noted that if a woman feels she is nothing without the support of a man, then that is the failure of the system. The court also opined that the time had come that the government should evolve and introduce new schemes to support single mothers.
The division bench of Justice A Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Dr. Kauser Edappagath noted, “In a country where the people worship Goddess, in the land where people have been taught about woman: Yatra naryastu pujyante ramante tatra Devata,yatraitaastu na pujyante sarvaastatrafalaahkriyaah”. (Manusmriti (3.56)). [Gods abide where women are worshiped and all actions go futile where they are dishonoured] (Manusmriti 3:56), in the State where we boast cent percent literacy, our attitude to woman is despising; a single mother has no financial or social support.”
The Kerala High Court observed that single mothers who chose to carry their child to full term and give birth face emotional challenges and forced to believe she is destined to be isolated as a result of guilt.
The bench further added, “She gets hardly any support from the system. It is time for the Government to evolve a scheme to support the single mother.”
The crucial observations were made while the High Court bench was hearing a matter where a woman, Anitha, offered her child for adoption after her live-in partner broke the relationship with her. The duo had approached the High Court after they reunited and wished to restore their child.
The High Court noted that the woman had been pushed to surrender the child from anxiety about her status as a single mother and her child’s future.
“Chat messages of Anitha with the Social Worker depicts how vulnerable it is for a woman becoming mother, not in a legally wedded relation. Desperation and plight of the motherhood reflected through the chat messages that depicts the care for the baby from the womb of the person, Anitha,” the order said.
The bench added, “The anomie Anitha had to face as a single mother is the hurdle created by the society. Anitha never attempted to exterminate her womb; she bore the pain to give birth; like every mother she loved to care the child. Anitha was willing to bear the child but was not allowed by circumstances in the society. She thought without support of man, she cannot survive.”
The bench raised the urgent need to do something for those single mothers and stated that it is time for the Government to evolve a scheme to support the single mother.
“It is for the State to make her realize that her struggle with the forces undermining her existence can be validated with the support of rule of law. That self-belief must be her identity and respect due to her,” the division bench said.