Justice still eludes mother of rape victim

Justice still eludes mother of rape victim

Runs from pillar to post for 2 years to get help for daughter, child welfare committees to bring relief

Neelam, 35, has been pleading with officials from the Child Welfare Committee  and Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights  for the last two years to provide counselling to her 15-year-old daughter, a rape victim. However, running around has not helped her get any aid from these child welfare bodies yet.

Under the Juvenile Justice Act, the CWC is supposed to provide medical relief and counsel children who are sexually abused, raped and kidnapped. Divya has been kidnapped thrice in last four years. “She was first kidnapped when she was 11 years old, then again when she was 12 years old. She was kidnapped for the third time at the age of 13-and- a- half  years. My child has suffered a lot as she was raped by the trafficker and forced into a sex racket,” said Neelam, girl’s mother.

She said, “ My daughter was asked to do dirty talk with men over the phone and even sent once to a man's place from where she ran away. The police found her in torn clothes running on the roads.”

Neelam is a single mother, who works as a part-time teacher in a school and a beautician to make ends meet. She was hopeful that officials would understand her plight and grant aid immediately.

Divya was kept at Nirmal Chaya, CWC’s counselling centre, wherein she was beaten up for three months after the police found her.

“My child's mental health is deteriorating everyday. She bangs her head in the wall or mirror, suddenly decides to bathe with cold water during cold nights. She has started wetting the bed in her sleep, and does not like to interact with people,” she said.

She further added, “She is a beautiful Kathak dancer but she does not want to dance any more. I want doctors to help her as I cannot sit at home to monitor her activities.
Otherwise who will run this house?”

Neelam alleges that she approached CWC several times to get counselling for Divya but at the end of every session, held once a month, the officials issued a letter saying that the child was fine without even talking to her.

Manish Bhatnagar, a child rights activist, says Neelam had approached the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) almost eight months ago to look into the matter. “No action has been taken so far. Instead of looking into the matter, the officials forwarded this case to Delhi Commission for Women. All these so-called committees are happily sitting on the matter,” he said.

DCW lawyers and DCPCR officials assured that they would resolve the issue soon but Neelam is not convinced. Names of the mother and child have been changed.

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