A set of recent incidents involving gruesome rapes of women across the country has yet again raised several questions about Indian society and judiciary. We at The Quint believe that a rape survivor’s life doesn’t end when she is raped. And that even if our institutions - law, the judiciary, the hospitals - are failing a rape survivor, we as a society need to step up. And keep the fight going. We are publishing this article originally published on 13 October 2015 from The Quint’s archives as part of our #KeepFighting campaign.
By one side of a filthy railway track in Delhi’s Lawrence Road Industrial Area, lies the N-86 slum where the four-year-old girl lives with her family. On the other side of the track is the place where she was raped, allegedly by a ‘Rahul Bhaiya’ who used to get her chocolates and candies.
The railway track is a busy place. For the slum dwellers, it is like an extended part of their tiny houses. Women put out dal for drying, kids play and men chit-chat on the folding cots arranged between the railway tracks. Small grocery and snack shops can also be seen alongside the tracks.
“The culprit used to sit here with us. He had been trying to get close to our child for the last one and a half years by bringing her candies and chocolates. We had no idea that he was plotting all this. Our girl used to call him Rahul Bhaiya,” says the girl’s grandfather.
The family’s financial condition has worsened since the rape. The child’s father is a painter and her grandfather is a mason. They work as and when they get a job. “We have a nine-member family to feed, including two disabled sons of mine,” says the grandfather. One of the child’s uncles has polio and the other is mute.
“The government should come forward and help us financially so that we can ensure a better life for the raped child. Her life has anyway been destroyed. Doctors say she wouldn’t ever be able to birth a child. The government should at least provide for her education and other expenses,” explains the grandfather.
“The Police has helped us by arresting the culprit. He has even produced the clothes she was wearing at the time when he raped our kid and tried to kill her with a blade. He has also produced the blade that he hid under a stone at the crime scene. Now, we just want the government to help the child,” says the grandfather.
The child’s grandmother says:
On the evening of the incident, she was playing at her house when she was lured with a ten-rupee note and a chocolate by Rahul. And then she returned, all covered with blood, calling out for her father. Her face, her arms, her entire body was bleeding. She was barely crawling when she reached us. No one from the neighbourhood could recognise her.
— Granmother to The Quint
“Our slum was never so notorious. Liquor shops in the area are corrupting people. And the other problem is open defecation. Our women have to go to defecate in the open at the other side of the railway track, which is unsafe,” says Harish, a neighbour to the child’s family. He is the one who called the police.
“The prime suspect of the case has been arrested and is being produced before the court today,” Deputy Commissioner of Police, North-West District, Vijay Singh told The Quint.