She first looked at it with surprise and then uncovered the gift with anxiety. She blushed out of excitement the moment she discovered the black object on Thursday.
Her first reaction: “Oh! itna bada phone. Isme to film dekhenge (Oh! Such a big phone. I will watch films in it,” said Munni (name changed) as she received the surprise gift from Jamshedpur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Anoop T Mathew.
Mumbai-based philanthropist Risham Thakur had sent the gift to the HT office requesting to deliver it to her.
Munni is the 9-year-old rape survivor from Jharkhand’s remote Dumaria block. Her story, which appeared in HT on August 28 last year, had moved readers across the globe.
A man of her father’s age had raped her in July inflicting grievous injuries to her colon and intestines.
Responding to HT’s appeal for help for treatment of the child, thousands from across the globe donated for the cause. While Medanta Hospital, Ranchi, cured her, HT raised nearly Rs 36 lakh in her account.
Risham Thakur said the story jolted her and she launched an online fundraiser. “I am happy to see the smile on her face after receiving the tablet,” she said over the phone from Mumbai after she saw pictures sent to her via whatsapp.
It’s nearly three months now since Munni returned to her village completely healed up. She has come out of the shock and is behaving normally. She has re-joined her village school and doesn’t miss classes.
She doesn’t want to discuss the gory incident anymore. While in hospital in September and October, she would shiver and turn morose the moment anyone discussed about the incident.
“I want to go to a better school,” she said. Her brother, two years older to her, also raised a similar demand.
Local elders, officials and journalists who had assembled at the girl’s house decided to form a committee that would monitor utilisation of the funds and choose a residential school where the girl could be sent for better education.
“The government had promised several sops that included a plot of land in an urban locality, job for me and free ration. I am yet to get them,” the girl’s father said.
“We are committed to providing administrative support to the girl and her family,” the SSP said. “We have enough evidence to nail the accused who was arrested barely a week after the incident.”