“She died longing for a sip of water. Can you imagine my grief? It still haunts me.” nirbhaya
(In an insightful conversation with Asha Devi, the mother of the daughter of the country.)
“Since the beginning, we initially pinned our hopes on the district courts, later on, the high court and eventually when the Supreme Court also upheld capital punishment, we were optimistic that our daughter will get justice. When convicts’ review was rejected in 2018, we were always on the move for months. I have never skipped any hearing. I only focused on fighting to get justice. I had all my faith in the judicial system and was hopeful of justice.” she said.
”We kept waiting for her outside the house”
Asha Devi recounts the day of December 16, 2012. It was a regular Sunday afternoon and around 3 pm, Nirbhaya left from home and told me she will be back in 2-3 hours. It was around 8 pm that we could not reach her and we started looking for her. We kept waiting outside the house when around 11 pm, we received a call from Safdurjung Hospital. As soon as Jyoti saw me in the hospital, she started crying.
“The doctor said he was unable to understand what to do, what to fix and what to mend,” she added. After multiple surgeries, when she regained consciousness, she asked for water. The doctors told us there is no system in her body which can take even a sip of water. It still haunts me, I live in regret that my daughter was alive for 12 days but she could not even get a drop of water from this world.
“My daughter’s misery fueled my strength to continue the fight for justice”
Asha Devi fought for eight years with her applaudable perseverance. The justice got delayed by eight years, but finally, it was served. Her entire life tossed after losing her daughter. She had been moving from pillar to post to prevail justice and finally won after all the convicts were hanged to death on March 20, 2020.
“My family was humiliated, abused and mocked”
“People would say that the rapists have been framed. This used to break me and I felt that a crime like this does not just happen once, but again and again, in court, in society, at home because we had to repeatedly prove that our daughter was raped.”
“Even today, nothing has changed in this country in terms of female security. If victims go to the police station and seek redressal, they don’t get proper treatment. Our judiciary is flawed, and people encourage such crimes by hiding them. nirbhaya
“The criminals get the strength from these delays and loopholes of our system and commit crimes because the exemption rate is so high.
Nirbahaya Jyoti Trust Asha Devi, with her husband, founded and established the Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust to support women who have experienced violence and need legal assistance. Direct aid is provided through this trust to the survivors. Asha Devi fought for every woman in the country and stands for them even now. Her spine chilling journey is full of courage and exemplary perseverance.
-By Aditi Gupta
A vivacious and lively girl living in Delhi, on her voyage for exploration of colours in life. A glimpse of what she does: Read, write, eat, Repeat!
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