My name is Rajeshree Munda. I have four kids; Rohini, Ranjeet, Dipika and Lata. They are fourteen, eleven, nine and seven years old respectively. I am a single parent. I work as a tea laborer in one of the tea gardens in the district of Darjeeling and live in a village close by.
My daughter was RAPED.
A 30 year old neighbor of ours raped my nine year old Dipika.
It was just another day at work and I was heading back home when my son approached me. He looked petrified. He told that he along with two of his friends had seen Uncle Abhishek and Dikipa together at a site near the tea garden. When uncle saw us he asked us to leave immediately, he added.
Dreading what was next I approached Dipika to talk to her about the incident but she was too scared to even utter a single word. In absolute silence, both of us walked to that site and what I saw broke me from the inside. It was a kind set up; something that seemed like a bed.
I stood their, for what seemed liked a really long time. Absolutely broken from the inside I held my daughter’s hand and gathered up the little strength that I had left in me and headed straight for that man’s house. I barged in through his main door and I accused him of raping my daughter and like any other rapist he denied the charges. I went outside again and this time I gathered all the kids who had witnessed the incident and brought them along with me and asked him the same question again. This time he did not say a word. Furious I stormed out of the door, threatening him that I would get him arrested. Deep down though I wasn’t really quite sure as to how I would do that.
He followed me all the way home begging for forgiveness and requested me to keep the matter to ourselves. Surprisingly I had considered this for a moment, because even if I wanted to file a complaint against him, I did not really know how I would do that!
As expected, this kind of news travelled like wild fire across the village. In little time everybody discovered what had happened to my daughter.
By Gods grace our village is one of the many villages that are under the awareness campaigns run by the Mary Ward Social Centre, Siliguri and luckily one of their associates resides in our village. That night Manju didi came over to my place and explained me the whole procedure. The next morning, another associate from DMWSC came to our village and guided me through all the formalities and paper work that needed to be done.
Soon after Abhishek was arrested and was brutally interrogated until he committed having committed the crime.
Under the guidance of DMWSC, my daughter was sent to CINI Shelter Home. They are helping her recover from the traumatic incident both mentally as well as physically.
I am extremely thankful and will be forever grateful for all that DMWSC has done for me.
Disclaimer : The identities of the victim and of associated characters have been modified. Documented by Tarunima Jaiswal