She survived one of the most blatant attacks on the country’s sovereignty only to fall prey to government apathy first and finally to the greed of a Delhi Police head constable.
Radha Chauhan, 35, who was injured in a bid to save a person during the Parliament attack of 2001 and now works as a contractual sweeper at the Delhi Police headquarters, continues to be punished day after day.
As if a convoluted rehabilitation procedure and missing paperwork were not enough, the school dropout has been cheated of her savings by a head constable on the pretext of being employed at a local police station.
“I have known HC Sitaram, who was posted at the Kamla Market police station, for several years. I got acquainted with him after losing my actual job,” Chauhan, a single mother, said.
HT had highlighted her plight on December 13, 2012. She was posted outside Parliament as a home guard on the day that witnessed alleged Pakistan-trained terrorists storm it.
“This January, he approached me and said he could get me a job as a class four employee in return for Rs. 30,000. Since I earn very less and could only manage to pay the amount in instalments, I could only pay him Rs. 5,000 per month,” she said. “However, when I finished paying up, he simply disappeared.”
What followed was two months of running from pillar to post to locate him at the end of which she made a complaint to the vigilance department. An enquiry was immediately instituted - but couldn’t reach its ‘logical end.’ It has been pending ever since.
“I only trusted him because of his uniform,” she said. “I earn around Rs. 8,000 per month, and that too if I work without leave. I’ve been to party presidents and chief ministers and from the office of the then Director General of the Home Guards to at least three police commissioners - but no one helps me. I don’t want money, I just need a decent job.”