Buried alive, she makes most of her rebirth
Published Date: March 8, 2011
Tags: female infanticide, illiterate father, Latur, Maharashtra, social activist, Sunita Aralikar
Sunita Aralikar was just 16 days old when she was buried alive by her illiterate father, a day after her mother passed away.
Today, Aralikar is an author and well-known social activist in Latur, Maharashtra, who fights evils such as female infanticide that nearly took her own life.
President of the Mahila (women) Congress in Latur, she said her grandfather pulled her out from the grave and brought her up with sound education.
“My mother died 15 days after I was born and on the next day, my father took me near a pond in Tupadi village in Latur and buried me alive as he did not want me,” Aralikar said.
“Latur then was very backward place and I was born into a poor dalit home,” she said, adding that she owes her life to her grandfather Kundalikrao Mane.
Aralikar, 53, who came to know the bitter truth of her life at the age of nine, has also written an autobiography ‘Hirkanicha Birhad’ (The House of Hirkani) in Marathi.
The book draws comparisons to the life of Hirkani, a simple, brave milk-seller during the Chhatrapati Shivaji’s regime who gained fame for scaling down the dauntingly steep mountain slope of Raigad fort on night to return home to her crying child.
“I recalled Hirkani in my book because she had scaled a mountain for the love of child. I too have faced challenges,’ said Aralikar.
Aralikar fell in love with a social worker Dilip Aralikar and married him.
She and her husband were jailed in 1975 for their “anti-establishment” stance.
“Both my sons are less than three years old, so they too were in jail. I learned how to write a diary in prison after observing other female political prisoners. That’s when I realized the power of pen,” she said.