Abdul Latheef, who runs a used-books shop near Ernakulam Press Club, has offered to give copies of English and Malayalam versions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act and Rules for free on WhatsApp
The recent deaths of three young women in Kerala allegedly owing to dowry-related violence seems to have scarred the collective conscience of the Malayali society.
While social media has exploded with hashtag campaigns reflecting the anger against the continuation of a practice like dowry, a store owner in Kochi has chosen to embark on a campaign with a difference.
Abdul Latheef, who has been running a popular used-books shop near the Ernakulam Press Club for over a decade now, has offered to give the English and Malayalam versions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act and Rules for free.
“If you feel that someone will benefit from a copy of this book, kindly WhatsApp me in 9895648013 the person’s name, address and pin code. Neither questions nor payment will be asked,” he posted in the Facebook on Wednesday evening.
Token of solidarity
Mr. Latheef said that it was a small token of solidarity with beleaguered women trapped in toxic relationships, including marriages. “The reports of the deaths of three women were so disturbing. It is likely to linger in the psyche of all women trapped in such relations. Why would even educated young women keep on suffering and simply don’t walk away?,” he asks.
The book costs less than ₹100 and is available in lawbooks shops. Mr. Latheef hopes that the initiative will do its bit in creating awareness about the law for safeguarding women.
His post has evoked appreciation from women, with some even ringing him up to share their thoughts. Two men have also messaged him requesting the book for their women acquaintances.
“Women, it seems, are reluctant to reach out on their own and share their addresses and contact numbers, which are necessary for sending registered posts. Hence, they are probably seeking the help of their male counterparts,” Mr. Latheef said.
However, it wasn’t all appreciation alone, as a male acquaintance called him to share his displeasure about the initiative, claiming that men too were on the receiving end.