Rape Survivor Gets A New Lease Of Life
AGARTALA: Five years ago, she was abandoned by her family for losing her virginity. Now, she stands as an inspiration for other girls who have dark pasts.
Rekha Debnath (name changed), a physically challenged girl, was raped by one Paritosh Paul, owner of a rubber garden in Bishalgarh (Sepahijala District) where her parents used to work. Her parents were out for work when the man entered her house and raped her.
Paritosh, then 40, was married and had two children with his wife. He threatened to kill her and her family if she dared to tell anybody about the incident.
However, her parents came to know about the incident when she was confirmed of carrying a baby in her womb.
Her parents asked her to abort the baby which she refused. At this, they asked her to go away and never contacted her after that.
She came to a women's rehabilitation centre in Agartala, 'Swabalamban', where she gave birth to a baby girl whom she named Piyali. This never confined her to the four walls but instilled a passion inside her to start life in a new way. She has passed the Madhyamik exam and is now preparing for her Higher Secondary exam to be conducted in 2016. She also took a three-month basic computer course and has a passion for knitting.
When asked, she said that her motto in life is to get a job to provide a better education for her baby girl.
"Now, I want a job to survive and to give a better future to my daughter. I have no one behind me whom I can rely upon," she said exclusively during an interview with our correspondent.
In-charge of the centre Gayetri Goswami said that the women are provided with basic infrastructures and environment so that they could pursue their education.
Rekha's inmate Ratna Das, mother of two daughters, is preparing for her Madhyamik examination to be held next year.
Ratna's life is similar with Rekha's with the exception that her husband left her with their two daughters. Ratna's step-mother married her off to a man double her age. Within three years, he fled, leaving them behind.
"One of my neighbours dropped me with my two daughters here one year ago. As I have to look after my younger daughter and prepare for the Madhyamik exam, I sent my elder daughter to a child home. She is five years old now. Amidst work and study, I yearn to meet my daughter, not only see her in photographs," Ratna said with tears in her eyes.
"My father came to meet me earlier and asked me to return home. But he was not willing to take my daughters. When I asked him, he said that he wanted me to remarry someone and start a new life. My daughters would have to live in a child care home. I denied and broke all ties with my father," Ratna said, carrying her younger daughter in her arms.
Pampa Chakraborty, Debjani Nag, and Soma Shil, who came from different backgrounds full of black memories, had appeared for the examinations with full confidence without focusing on anything except their studies. Though they didn't score letter marks in any of the subjects, they passed the exams with no back papers.
Pampa and Debjani were adopted as children but later they were abandoned when they were 13 or 14 years old.
Pampa's adopted mother allegedly used to torture her soon after her adopted father died following a cardiac arrest three years back. Her mother started torturing her physically and mentally since then. One day, her maternal aunt took her to Agartala Municipal Corporation councilor Phulan Bhattacharya who later handed her over to 'Swabalamban.'
Debjani came to 'Swabalamban' following almost the same fate after her adopted mother's death. Soma, though not an orphan, was brought here by her mother to keep her safe from a boy with whom she eloped and who used to torture both physically and mentally.
Featured Image: Representational