A P P E A L HELP FOR FIVE- YEAR- OLD VIC­TIM OF RAPE

CARE TO­DAY ap­peals to cit­i­zens for con­tri­bu­tions

India Today - - APPEAL -

There is a five- year- old girl in Delhi who, like all chil­dren her age, loves to cud­dle up to her mother, play and talk about ev­ery­thing un­der the sun. Meet Gudiya, who is in re­cov­ery, af­ter be­ing bru­tally at­tacked and raped by her neigh­bour on April 15. This bru­tal rape has ripped her and her fam­ily’s life apart.

In what can only be de­scribed as one of the worst hor­ror sto­ries to have played out in the National Cap­i­tal, Gudiya was raped by two men, one her neigh­bour who she had trusted enough to go to when he called out to her. The rapists at­tacked her in a bru­tal man­ner, insert­ing can­dles and a hair oil bot­tle in­side her, and then lock­ing her up at the scene of the crime, hop­ing she was dead.

Mirac­u­lously, and un­der ex­pert med­i­cal care, the five- year- old fought for her life at the All In­dia In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences ( AIIMS) in Delhi. Though griev­ously in­jured, she lived to see an­other day.

Re­cently the Par­lia­ment passed the Crim­i­nal Law ( Amend­ment) Bill, 2013, lay­ing down strin­gent pun­ish­ment for crimes against women, even death. But the threat of death penalty has not de­terred crim­i­nals. One in three rape vic­tims in In­dia is a child. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port pub­lished by the Del­hibased NGO Asian Cen­tre for Hu­man Rights, there has been a 336 per cent jump in child rape cases be­tween 2001 and 2011 in In­dia, to­talling 48,338 in a decade.

Be­fore we give into our numb­ness re­sult­ing from the fre­quency of such cases, we must take ac­tion and help Gudiya. Still vul­ner­a­ble, she needs to re­dis­cover her child­hood, and learn to live life one step at a time.

She can­not go back to her east Delhi ten­e­ment where she was raped, it is no longer the ‘ safe home’ she once knew. She needs to be nur­tured through her re­cov­ery process by all of us. She needs to heal, phys­i­cally through ex­pert med­i­cal care in­volv­ing surgery, med­i­ca­tion and nu­tri­tion sup­port. Most im­por­tantly, she needs help to heal psy­cho­log­i­cally through sus­tained and long- term coun­selling. She needs to go to school, to learn and grow like other chil­dren her age.

To en­sure that we do not for­get Gudiya as just an­other statistic on the rape chart, Care To­day, part of the In­dia To­day Group, is launch­ing an ap­peal to sup­port her through this cru­cial heal­ing process. We re­quest donors to con­trib­ute to this cause and en­able us

to re­spond to the child’s needs.

# hamarigudiya

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