Will I ever get my life back? In Rajasthan, it’s always the woman’s fault. Few get justice or social support to rebuild their shattered lives.
I remember the evening of September 16, 2012. I was coming from my aunt’s house and had to change buses at Kapasan to go home to Fatehpura village. I went to Kapasan railway station to catch a train as I missed the bus.
On the way, Narwar Singh, overseer at a construction site where I worked, and his brother Kamal, accosted me. Narwar had tried to molest me a few times at the site and I had quit the job.
But on that day, they pulled me inside a jeep and drove to an isolated spot near the station. There, Narwar raped me while his brother kept watch.
I told them I would go to the police. They beat me up and called another friend, Pappu Singh, who was also Fatehpura sarpanch, and the three of them decided to kill me.
They threw me before a train that ran over me, severing my legs from above my knees.
I was in excruciating pain and barely conscious. I remember the driver stopped the train and took me to Kapasan station. From there I was taken to a hospital where doctors referred me 120 km away to Udaipur.
Pappu Singh threatened me in hospital, saying he would kill me and my family if I named him in the police complaint.
I went ahead and complained but even police refused to add his name in the FIR. Circle inspector Praveen Sunda closed my file after Pappu bribed him. I had to approach the superintendent of police, who suspended Sunda and got the case reopened.
At Kapasan court, lawyers would not record my statement and asked all sorts of uncomfortable questions. The three men were arrested but Pappu managed to get bail. The trial is still going on.
I was staying with my mother and younger brother and we worked as daily labourers. My father passed away several years ago and two elder sisters are married. After the rape, my mother‘s behaviour towards me began to change. She started mistreating me and beating me. I got Rs 2 lakh as compensation from the government and she wanted a share in that. I gave her Rs 1 lakh but she wasn’t satisfied.
The biggest blow came when a man from our neighbourhood came to our house one night and tried to rape me. My mother didn’t even try to stop him! I was devastated. She told me to leave the house.
I was married 10 years ago. That’s the tradition here. Girls are married when they are 10 or 12 and they are sent to their in-laws’ house once they are adults. I used to visit my husband but after the rape he and his family have cut off all ties.
But what pains me most is why did my own mother abandon me? Where was I at fault?
I had nowhere to go and went to the police who took me to Prayas.
Prayas centre in-charge Khemraj Chaudhary got me admitted to school and he is my family now. Whenever I cry, he tells me it’s the turn of those scoundrels to cry. I tell Khemraj ji I want to do a course in tailoring. I enjoy sewing and I want to move to Jaipur. I like it there.
Of course, I’m angry with the men who raped me and destroyed my life. And I’m angry with my family for abandoning me. The men who destroyed my life have not been punished. I want them to pay for what they did to me.
(As told to Urvashi Dev Rawal)