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Thursday, June 14, 2012

An Account of a Spirit Butcher House

As mornings go, this has been one of the worst. There are depressing news about molestations and the local and moral police being a jerk (“If a girl goes out of the house at 11.30 pm she is “hoping” to get raped” being the general consensus), but we get used to that. We retaliate, get angry, write some articles and move on.
And then articles like this get published. To summarise it here:
Sexual abuse and assault, naked parade, pornography, beating, forcible abortion, starvation and intoxication of inmates. This is what went on at Apna Ghar, a Rohtak-based shelter home, as per the report submitted by two members of the four advocates' committee constituted by the Punjab and Haryana high court. 
They also complained that they were stripped naked, suspended from the ceiling in the reverse position with a cloth or dupatta and then brutally beaten with bamboo sticks. 
The girls were told that they were married to the person they were sent with so that they did not object to sexual exploitation. They were also forced to have liquor before sex. 
She had complained bitterly to Jaswanti for taking away her baby and selling it to somebody in adoption. To punish and torture her, Jaswanti reportedly had inserted scissors into her private parts which had caused her immense pain and agony. 
One of the girls told us that they were brought to Chandigarh on the pretext of an outing and forced to take a bath in a hotel pool to be clicked and videographed naked.

Words fail me. Of course, sexual abuse in orphanages and shelter homes is not unheard of. However, there is a difference in hearing a term, and in reading a very detailed account of what these abuses actually were.
The report will hopefully help put the offenders behind bars – castration and death penalty is a very feeble hope, though no punishment is harsh enough for breaking so many innocent spirits so thoroughly. I wonder about the victims – the ones hung in reverse and beaten, the ones who were virtually married for exploitation, the ones with the inserted scissors for daring to ask some questions and the countless ones who are too young to understand what abuse and oral sex is. Can they ever lead a normal life, or trust any other elder after what they have been through?

When I was a kid, I always thought that when I die, I would meet the spirit of every ant, cockroach, mosquito and insect that I have killed. My dreams were full of chase sequences with a petrified me followed mercilessly by hazy and white spirits.
This is the first time I wish that that nightmare scene was true, and these offenders get to meet all the spirits they have butchered in their after lives. For, in a country like ours, apart from humiliation and maybe a bailable offense slapped on them, they won't get anything worse. 


Arch said...

I am unable to say things clearly on this now. Mind boggles.

indianhomemaker said...

OMG. This is so horrible... yes, I hope the perpetrators are punished, but also that the victims are provided all possible support for leading dealing with this horrible trauma, and I hope they are able to live normal lives - so far as possible.

Trivial Encounters said...

These things always lead me wondering if there is anyway we can help.. even in a teeeny tiny way

Archana said...

@Trivial Encounters: There is an active agency in Chennai, and a couple in Mumbai - more than money, they want full-time volunteers for CSA awareness spreading (which is why our talks fell through - 3-6 hours in weekday afternoons is not possible at all for me now).

It is not the act itself that is worrying - this is the second news of such an act(s) in shelter homes in 6 months - such a cruel act on the helpless, homeless and family-less - despicable doesn't cover it.

Ash said...

This is really appalling. I have so much to say against this kind of thing, but words fail me when I read of it. These sick abusers need the harshest punishment.

Archana said...

Ash - I wish it happens soon!