Rano (Hema Malini), a feisty woman, lives in a village with her drunkard husband, Triloka (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), and her two children. Her mother-in-law, Zinda (Dina Pathak), constantly berates her for her inadequate dowry, even years after her marriage. Only her father-in-law, Hazur Singh (A. K. Hangal), an old blind man, is kind towards her, but can do little. The only member of the family who can save her from the wrath of Triloka is her brother-in-law, Mangal (Rishi Kapoor). One night, Triloka drops a young girl left behind at the railway station to a nearby inn. The next morning when the girl is found raped, her brother kills Triloka in rage. After her husband is murdered, Rano is forced to marry her brother-in-law, Mangal, who is a good ten years younger than her and whom she had looked upon as a child, through the ceremony of chadar daalna (Niyoga). The film derives its name from it. Raji (Poonam Dhillon) a gypsy girl, plays Mangal's love interest, who leaves the scene once he gets married.