New Delhi, Oct. 4: The tribal maidservant from Sahebganj, rescued earlier this week by Delhi Police and an NGO from brutal torture perpetrated by a top executive in upscale Vasant Kunj, today met her mother after three years at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.
The mother, a daily wage labourer, whose Delhi trip was sponsored by the Jharkhand state government, was shocked to see the girl’s abrasions, burn marks and deep gnashes that doctors said had been “infected with pus and maggots”.
“At first, I did not recognise my own daughter. Her face is almost disfigured. Her ears are half cut, lips badly slashed. Not an inch on her body is without cut or burn marks. I am totally numb,” the shocked mother said in broken Santhali and Hindi.
The daughter also broke down.
“I was beaten up with a dog leash, hurt with a heated knife and pan and kept naked so that I couldn’t run away. When madam’s part-time cook came, I was hidden from view so that no one else could suspect anything. I was given a bathroom to stay. The torture went on everyday,” the girl said in Hindi.
Doctors said the girl was crying for the first time.
It seems the the girl had been working at the sadistic 50-year-old Vandana Dhir’s household since June.
Dhir, who worked as the corporate communications head of French engineering giant Alstom and had the fancy designation of “country communications director” for India and South Asia, was sacked by the French MNC when the case came to light.
Alstom also publicly announced Aparna Srivastava as her replacement for now.
On Monday night, the girl’s screams had alerted neighbours at posh Vasant Kunj. Police and NGO Shakti Vahini rescued the girl.
Dhir was arrested on Tuesday. She has been charged with inflicting grievous assault on the girl as well as IPC section related to bonded labour and provisions under SC/ST Act, Dhir has claimed innocence.
Dhir had initially told the police that the girl fell on the bathroom floor and hurt herself.
Under a 14-day judicial custody, her bail plea is coming up for hearing at a local court tomorrow.
Dhir even forced the girl to swab floors naked so that she couldn’t escape. The girl added that Dhir had once forced her to drink urine.
“When I was new, I did not know how to use the western commode and urinated on the bathroom floor. She got so angry that she made me drink her urine,” the girl said.
The girl’s story is a classic tale of poverty-incuded trafficking. Three years ago, an agent named Lukhiram — also from Sahebganj — had taken the girl to Delhi to work, her mother said today.
“I want to take her home and won’t ever send her to Delhi again,” sobbed the woman, who has four other children.
She added that the trafficker Lukhiram had recently offered her Rs 10,000 but she had declined.
“I just wanted to see my daughter, but I never thought I would see her in this pitiable state,” the mother said.
Earlier, she worked in other households. The girl remembered a Lajpat Nagar one, which was normal.
An official of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which is also probing into the horrifying case, said they had received the girl’s school certificate from the Sahebganj deputy commissioner. The certificate said she had just turned 18. It also showed she had studied till Class II.