Pune-based 29-year old Kusam Desai is not only rejected by several prospective grooms' parents for being too old but also faces the trauma of being stood-up by Bishan on her wedding night. Her dad's widowed friend, Ashok Mehta, comes to her rescue by asking his law-student son, Vimal, to marry her, which he does. Kusum re-locates to Bombay but finds that Vimal respects like a mother and refuses any intimacy. After their respective fathers pass away, she finds out that he, now a qualified lawyer, is in love with Sapna, and must find suitable provisions in the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 to try and get an expedited divorce in a country that is vehemently opposed to granting divorces, as well as facing stigmatization from the community and opposition from her very own mother who will not permit her to obtain a divorce at any cost.
After the passing of her husband, Mrs. Mahajan takes care of four institutions, and lives a comfortable lifestyle with her two sons - Dr. Mohan and his wife, Maya; and Advocate Subhash Mahajan, his wife, Savitri, and their daughter, Rani. Savitri is unhappy as she wants a career for herself. She finally gets a chance to prove her skills in social services when she gets a job offer as Superintendent of a Women's Reformatory Home in distant Sangamwadi. Although Rani and Subhash as well as the rest of the family oppose her going, she has made up her mind. She arrives there and soon gets actively involved in the day to day activities of the institute, which is home to many women with a criminal background; who have been abused and beaten by their husbands; those who have been sexually assaulted; and even some with mental problems. After several months of her active involvement, Savitri is faced with a crisis when the Managing Committee, led by Chairperson Sheela Samson blames her for the death of two inmates, who set themselves on fire; her inability to get along with local businessmen; her rude comments to the local M.L.A., Bane; her interference in the personal lives of inmates. And to make matters the State Government appoints a one-man Commission to look into the problems of this institution. Savitri now has a choice - to resign and return home - to a family of virtual strangers; or stay and face the onslaught of charges that may be brought out against her.