If patience and courage were to be personified, it would certainly look something like the lean old man, Gabruddin (name changed), the rag picker, now known as the father of Ashiana rape victim.
“How would life be for a man, whose daughter has been raped? Justice is not the battle of the poor. Everything belongs to the powerful. But, I have also decided that I will not give up,” says the father who has been consoling his daughter all through these years that he would get her justice.
The victim, who is seventeen now, has just one question for her father, every time he leaves for the court hearing regarding her case-”Is it the last day of hearing?” But, the father has no answer.
The family has seen a lot during these seven-and-a-half-year span. Fighting against the ‘influential’ prime accused has been very tough. “There have been so many threats to me and my family. They offered me money and asked me to withdraw the case. But I refused everything they offered me,” said Gabruddin.
Facing the accused who are backed by the political clout, Gabruddin could not gather courage to send her youngest daughter to school. In a family of six siblings, there are two daughters, the victim being the elder one. “One battle is enough for me. I could not allow my second daughter to move out of the house because I could not bear another incident in my family,” said Gabruddin.
With all support from social organizations in the battle of justice against the gangrape, the man has his eyes firmly fixed on the day of judgment.
And even while there is satisfaction over the conviction of the remaining accused, there is still wait for the conviction of the prime accused, who has managed to fudge with his age proofs all these years and the trial is yet to start.
“I don’t mind the financial loss. There is no income for the family, the day I come to the court. But, we are fine with it. Even if we eat once a day, justice alone will satiate our pangs of hunger that has been longing for justice,” said he who earns Rs. 100 a day.
“We have fought many cases but, people back out and give up after some time because they want a peaceful life. But we salute Gabruddin who has maintained his courage for nearly eight years now,” says Madhu Garg, social activist, who has been supporting the family during these years.