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Raped By A Relative, Young Girl Gets Compensation After Eight Harrowing Years

Chennai: 

It's been eight harrowing years for 38-year-old mother Madhavi (name changed to protect identity) who earns a living by rearing cattle and her 20-year-old daughter living in Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu. The young lady was in class eight when she was raped by a relative in 2013. In 2015, though a Mahila Court convicted the accused and sentenced him to 12 years in jail under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, no application was filed for payment of compensation to the petitioner or in favour of the child victim. According to the POCSO Act, the victim is entitled to receive compensation by order of the Sessions Court or by authorities.

Also Read: 13-year-old Repeatedly Raped By Father, Cousin, Threatened With Dire Consequences

When the case was brought to the notice of Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation's sister organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan, the mother realised the lapse on the part of authorities and investigators. She told NDTV,

I am so scared to go out. We are trying for an alliance for our daughter, so we can give her a new life. But every time we mention what happened to our daughter, they say no and walk away. It is very painful.

The Madras High Court has now directed the state government to award the family a fair and reasonable compensation, in a petition the foundation helped her file. Natharsha Malim H, State Coordinator of Bachpan Bachao Andolan said,

We are trying to help them (victim and her family) out with some adequate compensation which will help them to maintain the family. The girl would get enough health attention, she would get nutritious food and can also get enrolled in higher education. So, her future will be better.

Also Read: CBI Conducts Raids At 77 Locations In Connection With An Online Child Sexual Abuse Racket

While Bachpan Bachao Andolan's intervention has now paved the way for fair and reasonable compensation, troubles for the widowed mother Madhavi are far from over. Her daughter, who is now 20, developed epilepsy after the sexual assault. She has no money to send her to college. Her son too has dropped out of school due to want of funds. The perpetrator, who appealed against the order, is not out on bail. She has to fight his legal appeal too. Madhavi says,

My daughter needs help. My life is almost over, but she is still young. We should do something for her. Now that he (perpetrator) is back in the village, people ask me if it was a false case. It's very embarrassing for us. We are still struggling.

Also Read: "Sexual Intent Key, Not Skin-To-Skin Contact", Says Supreme Court On Quashing Controversial Verdict By Bombay HC

With the Madras High Court ruling compensation, the family hopes that the Tamil Nadu government will award sufficient relief to rehabilitate the young women survivor. While timely legal assistance is helping in this case, for many, justice remains out of reach often due to lack of awareness and shoddy investigation.

Also Read: 16-year-old From Bihar, Raped While Out To Fetch Water, Awaits Justice

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