Monday was like any other day in her life,with nothing amiss. For the rest who know about her,it was the D-day,when finally justice prevailed and her nine tormentors were punished with 10-year imprisonment. The 20-something Nari Niketan rape victim,oblivious to any of this,woke up early in the morning and got ready for the Regional Institute of Mentally Handicapped,Sector 31,to try her hand at a new pattern of embroidery,one with beautiful flowers in all the colours depicting the lovely hues of life.
Unaware that finally justice has been done after about five years of trauma she lived,the life of Nari Niketan rape victim goes on smoothly,one which brings normalcy with each passing day. She does not talk about her past and perhaps the dark memory of the trauma that left her deeply impacted is fading away with every moment.
Routinely,she returned from school about 1:15 pm,and after being sure that her daughter 2-year-old Pari was back home,she went straight to the kitchen to help laying the table for lunch at Ashreya in Sector 47 where she stays with 19 other inmates who are all specially abled.
She is the most calm and composed inmate who is most willing to help everyone else around whether it is the attendants or others like her, says Dr Chhaya Prasad,the nodal officer appointed by the UT Administration on the directions of the court for the rape victim and her child.
In fact,from the day I have been looking after her and her baby as the nodal officer,there is a marked change in her. She doesnt have any behavioural problems at all and is in a much better state like many normal girls of her age. To some extent,motherhood has played a definitive role in improving her mental health, adds Dr Prasad.
From dressing up every morning to literally teaching other inmates on how they should take care of their children,she is like any other mother who showers all her love on her baby. Many times attendants give her something to eat and if Pari is not around,she keeps it aside for Pari. At times,she tells other inmates to clean their babys face or change their clothes, says the doctor.
Alternatively,she attends yoga and dance classes with other inmates every evening. She has even learnt stitching besides embroidery and had made tiny handbags. We are planning to put these and other articles made by other inmates as well on exhibit soon, adds Dr Prasad.
Recently,with efforts of the head of the Regional Institute of Mentally Handicapped and head of the psychiatry department Dr B S Chavan and his team,an in-house kitchen has been started at Ashreya where meals for the inmates are cooked by the helpers and attendants. Prior to this,the inmates would get cooked food from the Government Medical College and Hospital ,Sector 32.
The inmates who are in a position to help in the kitchen do so by choice,and the rape victim always loves to lend a helping hand in the kitchen. She kneads the dough and lays the table neatly for everyone, says the doctor. Society needs to be sensitised that even these persons have equal rights to love and move on like others.