NEW DELHI: A common thread binds the grieving narratives of Renu Bai , Rani Bai and Mamta Devi (names changed) which brought them from Madhya Pradesh to the Ramlila Ground on Friday. The three, among several thousands, marched for around 10,000 km to seek justice for their minor daughters. According to the National Crime Records Bureau 2016, the reported cases of crime against children rose by a staggering 193 per cent from 33,538 in 2012 to 98,344 in 2016.
The pain strengthens my resolve to fight harder for my 11-year-old daughter, said Mamta Devi. “She did not survive the torture… I lost her...” she said. For Renu Bai, travelling across cities to seek justice for her daughter also meant taking turns with her husband to stay with her 15-year-old daughter in Hirapur village in Madhya Pradesh. Brutally raped and abandoned a few months ago, the girl prepares for her exams but does not attend school anymore.
“The torture left her eyes almost damaged...nail marks on her whole body and neck… it was a terrible sight. We had never seen anything like this before.” she said. She, along with help from the villagers, staged a chakka jam outside the police station to lodge a complaint. “Such is our country that both the police and the judge intimidated my children during the whole process. The perpetrator’s family kept threatening us. But we did not back off.”
Rani Bai is now helping her daughter, who was raped and impregnated at the age of 17, get her life back on track. “We got in touch with an NGO who helped our daughter.”