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Mansi Khandelwal

IWB Blogger

From Wearing Ghoonghat To Becoming The 1st Lady Asst. Registrar, Pushpa Shares Her Journey

  • IWB Post
  •  May 16, 2018

As Norman Mailer says, “You don’t know a woman until you’ve met her in court.” Very recently I met Pushpa Jain, who has dedicated thirty-seven years of her life to Jaipur High Court and is currently appointed as the first Lady Assistant Registrar, Jaipur Bench, High Court. To quote as a fact, I have never known a woman like her!

On my way to Pushpa’s house, I had an impression of her as a very strict woman who wouldn’t smile much and would make me think twice before asking any question. This anticipation went in vain! We quickly engaged in a candid chat that held no judgment for my unnecessary nervousness.

Pushpa Jain

Call it my luck, Pushpa’s husband joined our conversation. I quickly made use of the opportunity and asked, “How different is Pushpa at home from that she is in the court?”

Before Pushpa could answer, Mr. Jain who works as a court master in High Court said, “She is senior to me in the office, and I am senior at home.” Well, that said a lot! On a lighter note, Pushpa added that they had always helped each other both at work and at home. “Though I like to discuss some cases that have affected me in the court with my kids and my husband, but otherwise I try to keep both things separate,” Pushpa said.

How does it feel to be the only Lady Assistant Registrar of Rajasthan High Court?

She widely smiled and replied, “I have been serving the judiciary for over 35 years and now it feels like home. Initially, there weren’t a lot of women but now the statistics are changing. I was very happy to become the first lady court master and now getting to become the first lady assistant registrar too, it feels great.”

Pushpa Jain

Why do you think our judicial system is under questioning time and again?

Well, I think it’s not our judicial system that is at fault but sometimes money and prominent political parties affect the court proceedings. Otherwise, everything is very systematic and just following the procedures in any particular case, the justice is delivered. There are times when a case takes a little more time than usual but not very often does this happen.

I feel there’s a lot of responsibility on our shoulders. Every day is a fight for us. “Har din koala ki kothari me se bedaag hokar nikalna, bohot mushkil hai.”

How supportive has your family been through your career journey?

Thanks to my husband I could pursue my job. I was married in a family where I had to wear ghoonghat and was not really appreciated to work. But my father-in-law and my husband supported me and today I owe a lot of my success to them. Today also, if I get late or he does, we wait for each other always. Also since both of us spend most of our time in the court, the moment we step out of the court premises, we erase everything that happened in the entire day from our minds.

There was a time when both of us were preparing for our judicial exams and my kids used to cook food and take care of us. They helped us study hard and pass our exams.

Isn’t that the other way round generally, I wondered!

Pushpa Jain

Do you have gender roles divided in your house?

No, not at all! We equally divide our work.

At this note, we were joined by Pushpa’s elder daughter. She said, “There are times when I come from my in-laws’ house to meet mom and dad; and if in case I have to rush back home, dad makes sure mumma and I sit and talk, and he prepares dinner. This is one of the best things about our parents which both I and my sister wish to experience in our relationships too.

Register the happiest day of your life.

My happiest day was when my eldest daughter was born. That feeling of being called Maa was really special to me.

Register the most difficult phase?

Getting married into a very conservative family after being born and brought up in Jaipur, and establishing myself in that environment was both challenging and difficult.

Register the biggest stereotype about women in court.

People have a misconception that women are not very articulate, possess less knowledge and can’t grasp things quickly.

Pushpa Jain

What was the most touching case you have come across?

There was a case of property settlement that came to the court some time back. The dispute between a mother and son lead the mother to the court. This particular case affected me a lot. What we generally see in our society that no matter whatever children do, a mother never goes to the court for any legal matter. She generally likes to keep it behind the closed doors of her house. But what troubled and amazed the court officials was the amount of trouble this mother would have faced that she had to come to the court to seek help.

What according to you gives a woman the courage to stand up for her rights and fight against the wrong?

The most important thing for any girl or a woman to become independent is education. Being educated makes a lot of difference for a woman and people around her too. Also, times are changing. These days girls and boys are treated equally at home and that makes a lot of difference. An equal treatment from childhood makes a girl grow up to be a strong woman.

How can we put an end to the courtroom victim blaming of women?

10% of the cases happen because of girls wearing small clothes and partying late at night. I think unnecessarily they shouldn’t go out and one’s safety lies in their own hands. Also, girls should be more cautious when there are men around especially if they are drinking or hanging out late night. Men identify the girl’s weak point and then misbehave. Also, in general, we do not have a sound and clean environment around us. Nobody wants to unnecessarily get into the mess of others. Sadak par koi ladka kisi ladki ko chedhta hua dikhe, toh hardly koi help karne jata hai.

The way Pushpa has risen in a male dominated profession is inspiring. In this video she is sharing her advice for women.

This article was first published on Nov 7, 2016.

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