Poverty, fear of society forces Firozabad gang rape survivor to offer her new-born for adoption
FIROZABAD: A glance out of Firozabad district hospital’s window sent shivers down the spine of Surya (name changed) who was firmly holding her newborn she can’t call her own outside.
Staring at an uncertain future and an “unsparing” society, the 16-year-old rape survivor has decided to part ways with girl child she just gave birth to. Hired as a contractual teacher at a kindergarten school at a meagre salary of Rs 3,000 a month, she was allegedly gang-raped by her principal and her co-worker – who used to call her ‘beti’- in May last year.
Turning her gaze away from the child, Surya told TOI that she doesn’t have the means and the courage to keep her. “I kept her in my womb for nine months. Though she is my part and I love her, I don’t have the means to take care of her and neither the society will accept us. I have decided to leave my daughter in orphanage,” Surya said.
She has just one hope. “Someday, someone will adopt her and she will get a better life.”
Hidden from the society for the last several months in a small rented room, Surya was admitted to district hospital after the intervention of TOI and child welfare committee (CWC) Firozabad on late Tuesday night.
Hailing from a poor family with no father, the girl was eldest among two siblings and had joined private school to support her family.
“I wanted to become a police officer. But due to financial constraints joined the kindergarten school. I was raped by the school principal and a colleague for several times inside the school basement. They filmed the act and continued to threaten me of dire consequences if I reported the matter,” said the survivor. She added, “Those two men are vultures.”
In the FIR lodged at Shikohabad police station of Firozabad district, the accused were identified as Harveer, 29, the school principal and Rameshwar, 38, the teacher and colleague of the girl. The duo were charged under IPC section 376-D (gang rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and under POCSO Act. They were arrested and sent to jail.
“Seeing the family’s financial condition, Rameshwar, who used to call my daughter ‘beti’, offered to provide a job of teacher with Rs 3,000 per month in local kindergarten school. My daughter joined the school in September 2017. But, in May 2019, on pretext of giving her advance teacher’s training, he raped her inside school premises. Couple of days later, the school principal Harveer too raped her,” said survivor’s mother.
“It was in September 2019, I came to know about my daughter’s condition after she fainted,” said the 37-year-old woman, with tears rolling down her eyes.
“I was hurt and shocked to see Rameshwar’s wife and Harveer’s mother plead to spare the two accused for money. I don’t understand, how as women, they can be so heartless towards a girl who was victim of brutality,” added the survivor’s mother who runs her family by stitching clothes.
Meanwhile, speaking to TOI, chief medical officer Dr Sadhana Rathore of Firozabad district hospital said, “The baby and the victim are in good health. Our team is providing constant care to the duo. I am also writing to SP Firozabad to provide adequate security cover to the survivor and her child till the court trial in gang-rape is going on.”
Zafar Alam, Firozabad’s child welfare committee member said, “Soon the district administration will deposit Rs 3.5 lakh as compensation amount into the survivor’s bank account, as almost all paper work has been completed. We respect her decision.
The gang-rape survivor will file an appeal in court asking to put the baby for adoption via CARA (Central Adoption Resource Authority).”
Taking cognizance of the case, ADG Agra zone Ajay Anand and IG Agra range Satish Ganesh, also extended help to the survivor. “We have asked civil society members to make financial contribution in order to help the victim, as she is from poor background. Every possible help would be provided to the teenager and her child by police,” said ADG Ajay Anand.