Honour killing survivor Kausalya Shankar becomes entrepreneur, wants to help other women

In 2016, in a horrific incident of murder and brutality, Shankar, a Dalit man, and his wife Kausalya, who belongs to the Thevar community, were attacked in broad daylight in Udumalpet town in the district. of Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppur.

While Shankar died instantly, Kausalya survived with serious injuries. The CCTV footage of the horrific incident, which later went viral, will reveal a horrific case of honor killing initiated by Kausalya’s family and carried out by hired men.

Shankar and Kausalya met in college, fell in love, and married at the behest of his family.

And, despite a landmark verdict in 2017 in which her father was sentenced to death, along with five others, justice continued to be denied to her after the Madras High Court overturned it, in the 2020 sentence of the sessions court and released his father and two others.

Kausalya’s fight is not over. He is a strong activist, raising his voice against institutionalized violence and honor killing. She has also started a foundation in her husband’s name to work to raise children from remote villages.

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Meanwhile, a staunch follower of the teachings of BR Ambedkar and Periyar, he also learned to play the fried, and married Sakthi, a fried artists at a ceremony of honor.

Sakthi is an activist and is very vocal against violence. “At one point, he was dismissed, but later the decision was reversed. I resigned from my job because I knew it was my duty to the society,” said Kausalya.

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The beauty business


Kausalya and actress Parvathy Thiruvothu at the opening of Zha salon

Kausalya recently quit her government job to become an entrepreneur. She opened a beauty salon, Zha, in Vellalur, Coimbatore, which was launched by actress Parvathy Thiruvothu last month.

“My work in the government did not allow me to be a full-time activist or participate in any kind of public work. My main struggle is against honor killings, and I had to take permission. every time I speak to the media. It started to be difficult. Some of my friends suggested that I go into the beauty business because I’m always happy,” he said His Story.

After a “decorators’ course”, Kausalya took a loan from the bank, confirmed her batteries, and borrowed money from a friend to start Zha.

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The restaurant, he said will be “a family-friendly one without separate services for women, men, and children”.

“We provide all beauty services, more than just haircuts and styling. We also offer high quality beauty products,” he said.

Apart from donating some of the profits from the business to the community, Kausalya wants to encourage other people to start their own business.

“We are ready to offer our restaurant discounts, necessary training, and all the help they need to stand on their own feet, and start a new life, ” he said.

Kausalya’s fight against honor killing is an ongoing one. He said it’s exciting to see so much awareness and discussion going on, but there’s still a way to go.

“It all comes down to gender equality. Parents should treat boys and girls equally from childhood. For this, parents must first understand the equality that drives progress in society,” he said.

Kausalya takes every opportunity to talk about murder, and believes that such issues need to be brought to light at all levels, even with the police.

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He is also seeking a law against murder in Tamil Nadu. “While there is action in Rajasthan against this heinous crime, I hope the DMK government will also encourage one in the state,” he said.

Despite many challenges in his path, his fight is relentless. The Shankar Social Justice Trust helps victims of violence, and has saved many women from facing a similar fate. They are given safe places to live if they oppose marrying outside the tribe.

“My friends – disciples of Periyar, Ambedkar, and Marx – are my family. They continue to support me every step of the way. We are not related by blood – but by reason – to do good for people. ,” said Kausalya.

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