Walkathon to sensitise public on child sexual abuse

By Akhila Damodaran| Express News Service | Published: 11th September 2018 10:04 PM

BENGALURU : Every 17 hours, a girl below the age of six gets raped in India. To bring forth the trauma and pain of these minors, Saibisa is organising a walkathon across the country, which will be flagged off in Bengaluru.Founded in 2014, the organisation has been helping minor victims get educated and fight their trauma.

Jaya Wahi, founder and chairperson of Saibisa, says, “Many feel for the victims when they read the news, they talk about it, but do nothing. Even I was one of them. That's why I want to build awareness and bring the pain and trauma of these girls to the forefront so that people start talking about the issue openly.”

The organisation educates these children, funds their education till class 12 and takes care of medical and nutritional requirements. “Once they are teenagers, they will realise the extent of their trauma — when they do not get periods or have difficulty conceiving,” says the social activist. Their first case was of a four-year-old who was raped by a 55-year-old man.

“She was declared dead, but later, was found to have a faint pulse by a duty doctor in the morgue. Doctors stated that she would not be able to walk again, but today, she tops her class and is an inter-school gold medallist in racing,” she says, adding that now, she won't be able to continue running due to her corrective surgery. 

The challenge they face is in convincing parents to educate their child. “Parents find it difficult to trust others. Some parents start believing that their child is of no use and that they can't get them married. The other challenge is when parents withdraw cases. They struggle to make ends meet, and hence, when they are paid say `50,000 by the culprit, they accept and withdraw the case. They can't afford to fight,” she says. The walkathon will be flagged off at Kanteerava Stadium on September 23, 7 am. It will end at Cubbon Park.

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