Leaving behind a life of poverty and discord in Sitamarhi, Bihar, Sania (name changed) had hoped to earn some money and live comfortably when she came to Delhi.
Three years later, her dreams lie totally shattered and abused.
And had it not been for a concerned neighbour, 14-year-old Sania would still have been living a life where she was regularly raped, sodomised and tortured by her employers who had promised to pay her well and keep her safely.
“She was made to do all the household work, including cleaning, dusting, cooking, washing utensils and clothes and carrying buckets of water from the ground floor to the first floor,” said a member from Butterflies, the NGO that rescued her.
While Mohammad Nadeem, the accused, has been sent to judicial custody, his sister and mother, who would allegedly hit her with sticks and slap her over small mistakes, have not been arrested so far.
Sania comes from a broken family. Her father lives in Sitamarhi and her mother works somewhere in Delhi and has not been traced so far. To escape poverty and discord at home, Sania had come to Delhi with her grandmother.
Sania told the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) that her employers had not paid her a single penny ever since she started working for them. The 14-year-old had told
Nadeem’s mother about the sexual assault but she did not believe her.
“No one listened to me when I complained about the rape. Nadeem’s younger sister would singe me with hot tongs if something went wrong. His mother would also beat me if I made a mistake. I had to wake up at 6am and was not allowed to rest till 10pm,” Sania said in her statement to the CWC. She has been sent to a children’s shelter home.
The past two months have seen a spate of cases of child domestic abuse in one form or another. What is more shocking is that most of these cases have been reported from well-to-do and educated families.