Chanda was married at the young age of 15 and entered her husband’s home looking forward to a happy and blissful married life. However, she was surprised when she found that the man she married was dishonest. He openly wooed other women. Totally lacking a sense of responsibility, he refused to provide for Chanda and the two kids she had soon after marriage. He sold off ornaments her mother-in-law had given her without her knowledge.
Chanda had just done her Higher Secondary but still she took on odd jobs to sustain the family.
Chanda did not want to go back to her father as she had 3 unmarried sisters and was afraid that the social stigma of her broken marriage would reflect on them too. However, when she was only 23, she took a bold decision and left her husband’s house.
Chanda went back to studying, passed MA in English Literature and did programmes on Women Studies. Ready to face all odds, Chanda even worked as a nanny in the US for a while, but came back to work among women in India. She supports struggle for livelihood wherever women are participating, especially adivasi women and against bauxite mining. She has traveled all over India to speak with women about their issues.
Chanda is a Neerja Bhanot Awardee.