A tragic awakening
I t’s been 16 months since the appalling rape and murder of Jyoti singh on a bus in Delhi but the horrific details and outpouring of sorrow is still as raw as the moment it made global headlines.
Her parents have spoken out in the past, exclusively telling Friday how they sat, praying for their talented and kind daughter to recover from her terrible injuries for 13 days.
As she lay dying, 23-year-old Jyoti asked for justice, demanding her killers get the death penalty. They have since been convicted but have appealed to the supreme Court to review their case – a process that, even though it’s been fast-tracked, could take years. That prolongs the agony for the physiotherapy student’s family.
for Awindra Pandey, the friend who was with Jyoti during the attack, nothing will ever stop his guilt at not being able to save her. “I was completely helpless to go and save Jyoti and it tortures me every day,” he admits in a moving interview on page 16.
“not a single hour has passed since that unfortunate day when I don’t remember Jyoti. she is always on my mind.”
His physical wounds from the vicious beating the gang inflicted upon him with an iron bar – temporarily paralysing him – may have healed, but his grief and anger will never go. His way of trying to move on is to open a call centre in Delhi that is manned 24/7 to help women in distress. “I couldn’t help Jyoti that night, but helping these women in any way possible makes me feel I am not completely useless. I can help after all,” he says.
The charity is called Jagriti – awakening in Hindi – and it is Awindra’s way of making sure something useful comes from Jyoti’s death. Most of the 60 call centre volunteers are men.
“we’re good men, and we show there are good men, too, in India. we want a better country for ourselves, for our society to improve, and we want our mothers, sisters and daughters to feel safer,” he says. let me know what you think of his story…