Millennium Post

DCW declared Rs 25 lakh compensation for rape survivor

New Delhi:Six years after she was brutally raped and left to die, a minor girl will be awarded a compensation of Rs 25 lakh by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
The state women's panel was asked by the Juvenile Justice Board, a few months ago, to take measures for the rehabilitation of the victim who was subjected to rape and attempt to murder when she was only five-years-old, a DCW statement said.
In March 2011, the survivor was found bleeding by the police in a park in north-west Delhi. She alleged that she was taken there by a man while playing outside her home and was hit multiple times on the head and face with bricks before being raped.
The victim was taken to a hospital and found to have sustained severe physical injuries. She underwent multiple surgeries, including perineal reconstruction, and a colostomy necessitating the use of a colostomy bag.
Her distress was further compounded by unnecessary delays to the required surgeries, the statement said.
"The commission conducted a detailed exercise to assess the financial, medical and other needs of the survivor and her family in order to ascertain the suitable amount of compensation," the statement stated.
The commission also organised an interaction between external experts like senior advocate and child rights activists Vrinda Grover and Bharti Ali and the survivor and her family.
The experts made a series of observations like that these survivor studied in a government school and in order to attend it, she was required to walk 3 km every day and she lived in a one room house in an unauthorised colony with her family comprising her father, mother and a younger sister.
Her father is a rickshaw puller who earns only Rs 300 per day on an average and her mother is a housewife. The monthly income of the family is around Rs 8,000.
The survivor expressed her desire to become a doctor and wished to learn English language and dancing.
Further, the victim's wounds were so severe, that she needed long term treatment and the father said he was unable to arrange money for conducting MRI and CT scans.
Besides, it was considered that sustained psychological counselling was also required to alleviate the trauma she had suffered.
On May 12, the commission also requested St Stephen's Hospital to conduct a holistic medical assessment of the survivor and to provide it with a detailed care plan taking into account medical, psychological and other short-term as well as long-term requirements for her complete and holistic recovery.
"In this particular case, the survivor's family belongs to the most destitute section of society and is simply financially incapable of ensuring that her particular needs are met.
"It is, therefore, the responsibility of the state to ensure the welfare of this child, whom the state was not able to protect from the heinous crime of sexual assault," DCW said said.
The commission will award the compensation as fixed deposit of Rs 3.5 lakh (encashable when she turns 22) in the name of the survivor for pursuing a professional career or further studies, FD of Rs 5 lakh (encashable when she turns 18) towards her higher education and skill development, FD of Rs 5 lakh (encashable when she turns 22) for pursuing a professional career or further studies.
The compensation will also include deposit of Rs 2 lakh (with a quarterly limit on withdrawal of Rs 7,150) or Rs 8,300 per quarter in her account towards quarterly counseling sessions, deposit of Rs 4 lakh (with a monthly limit on withdrawal) or Rs 54,8,500 per month in her account towards nutrition.
The parents have been directed to use the amount judiciously and ensure nutritious food for the survivor and her younger sister.
The compensation further will also include deposit of Rs 11 lakh (with a monthly limit on withdrawal) in the account of the survivor towards medicines and any other medical requirements, Rs 5.4 lakh (with a monthly limit on withdrawal) in her account for pursuing her interests in dance, English and other co-curricular activities.
The compensation will incorporate a deposit of Rs 1.5 lakh (with a yearly withdrawal of Rs 21,450) and Rs 2 lakh (one-time) for purchase of health insurance for the survivor and her younger sister and Rs 3 lakh will be given in cash to the girl at present to meet day-to-day expenses.
Besides, the Rape Crisis Cell will examine the case and ensure that any appropriate legal action as desired by the survivor's family is duly initiated.
Any costs incurred by the family, if any, with respect to any legal proceedings subsequently initiated shall be borne by the Commission, the statement added.
It said that the SDM concerned would conduct monthly meetings with the survivor and her family for one year from the date of this order and thereafter on a quarterly basis to ensure proper use of funds received from the commission for the welfare of the survivor.
The mother will act as a guardian of the child for all financial purposes with regard to this order till she turns major.
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