NEW DELHI: For 14-year-old Nidhi, quitting her school was the only option after she was raped by her neighbour. The incident has shaken her confidence and the worst: she was forced by her parents to stay indoors due to the pressure from the society.
Nidhi was studying in class VI when the incident took place. An FIR was registered against the accused and trial is going on in a Delhi court.
During recording her testimony, Nidhi told Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau that she was forced to quit her school due to societal pressure. Nidhi told the court that she has been sitting idle in her home for the last three years and she want to study like all other children.
Concern over the issue, the judge took the initiative and with the help of some NGOs, Nidhi got an admission in a local school.
The trial courts in Delhi have started an initiative on its own to come to the rescue of victims of sexual violence and help them to be a part of society again.
In another case, Shilpi, aged 13, was forced to quit school after pressure from the cociety on her family. Her parents first shifted to a new house and cut all their social contacts so that no one came to know about what happened with their daughter.
During the course of the trial, the judge found that girl was keen on continuing her studies, so she arranged professional counselling for her.
After thorough counselling, the court with the help of a leading school in the capital made her study further. Her fees and other expenses are bore by a local self help group and the school. Shilpi now returns to her normal life.
This initiative by the court also changed Shilpi’s parents life. The school in which Shilpi got admitted gave employment to her father and her mother.
Appreciating the initiative by the courts in this direction, senior supreme court lawyer Rekha Aggarwal told Express, “This initiative by the courts and NGO’s are a welcome step as it is often seen in such cases, family of girl have to make lot of compromises on hiding their identity and breaking all their ties with the outside world. Rehabilitation of such families in this way would help them to connect to their social circle.”
(Names have been changed to protect victims’ identity)