A tragic awak­en­ing

Friday - - EDITOR'S LETTER -

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…

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.