The Everyday Reality of India’s Daughters is Gruesome. Sold by Father for ₹3,000, Teen Raped for Years


The Everyday Reality of India’s Daughters is Gruesome. Sold by Father for ₹3,000, Teen Raped for Years

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

As the country attempts to wrap its head around the gruesome details of the Hathras gang-rape case, another headline has emerged from Chhattisgarh that once again highlights the horrific reality of being a woman in this country.

Two years ago, a 16-year-old girl was “sold” by her own father to a 21-year-old man, who said he would help her find domestic work. Instead, as the woman has now revealed, the man went on to sexually assault her for years.

This May, the woman was rescued by workers of the child and welfare department on the streets of Raigad, where she was found starving, incoherent, and pregnant.

Months of counselling later, the woman has finally found her voice and spoken about her hellish ordeal. According to her complaint with the police, she was given away to the man for a paltry sum of ₹3,000 on the condition that she would work as a domestic help. But the man, who is now 23-years-old, soon began to rape her.

The Times of India reported the woman’s experience as being so disturbing that she doesn’t even have a clear idea of when she was dumped on the streets. All she knows is that it was after she got pregnant.

Since her rescue, the woman has given birth to a healthy child, but needed months of counselling — first at a hospital in Bilaspur and then a counselling centre in Raigad — before she could speak about what transpired. She was found abandoned about 250 kilometres from her hometown, where she didn’t know anybody, the report said.

A case has now been registered under the POCSO Act, and the man who raped her and left her on the streets is being traced. But even once he’s nabbed, it’s safe to say that this young woman’s heartbreaking story is not one that will be forgotten easily.