Traumatised after her rape a year ago, 15-year-old Deeksha (name changed) stopped going to school. Her father, a rickshaw puller who earns a meagre amount, was finding it difficult to fight the case and sustain the family as he was already taking care of his mentally ill wife.
The distraught family moved the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of east district for help, which decided to take up her case. After a year-long effort, the Delhi government has finally decided to offer them financial assistance of Rs. 2 lakh through a specially created account head called ‘victim compensation fund’.
Deeksha was raped by two men near her Sunder Nagri house in March 2012.
The family used the money to buy a rickshaw so that her father can earn his livelihood. Her mother has been shifted to the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Science while her year-old brother has been sent to a baby care centre.
“We first ensured that Deeksha started attending school again. We decided to rehabilitate the entire family that has incurred enormous loss and suffering due to the incident.
The Delhi Legal Services Authority asked the deputy commissioner of east Delhi to release a sum of R2 lakh to the victim,” said Kiran Walia, minister of women and child development.
“By ensuring that victims receive financial help during trial, we help them to fight the case,” she added. The family, which lives on a footpath, is being shifted to a small rented house.
“We will now push more cases for compensation, especially in cases of incest. Families are reluctant in reporting such cases for the fear of losing the only earning member. If we start giving them compensation during trial, it will encourage them to come forward,” said Ajay Kumar, chairman of CWC of east district.
“We are happy that in a year’s time, we managed to hand over the cheque to the family,” a CWC official said.
Sources said that 80% of the amount will be in the form of fixed deposits, which she would get after turning 18.