New Delhi, Oct. 28: A year ago, she had come to the national capital with the dream of living a life of dignity. Today, she left for her tribal village home in Jharkhand with a psyche scarred with brutality.
But, as the 17-year-old Sahebgunj girl — rescued from the house of her tormentor employer Vandana Dhir in upmarket Vasant Kunj on October 1 — boarded the Rajdhani Express for Ranchi along with her mother this evening, a smile played on her lips, perhaps after months.
“I am just glad to go back. My village will be more welcoming than this city. People there may be poor, but they are not bad,” the teen who wants to study to become a teacher told The Telegraph.
On this happy day, she understandably refused to recall her days of horror in the posh bungalow of Dhir, a 50-year-old former senior executive of a French MNC, where she worked as a domestic help since June. “I have been talking about it (my ordeal) since my rescue. Now, I want to put it behind me,” she said.
Dhir is accused of torturing the teenager with a dog chain, a hot pan and knives. The girl was badmouthed and thrashed whenever she expressed her wish to go home or talk to her widow mother, a daily-wage earner. Apart from severe physical torture and mental abuse, Dhir even forced her to stay naked to prevent her from escaping.
On October 1, police and NGO workers rescued her after being alerted by neighbours who luckily heard her desperate screams for help. The employer was arrested soon thereafter and has been in judicial custody since because the court rejected her bail plea. Dhir is facing serious charges, including that of attempted murder.
The deeply traumatised girl was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital and was operated on for a deep gash on the head, the result of a knife attack. She was discharged last week.
“Malnourished for months, the girl is very weak. She has multiple injuries and needs routine health check-ups. We have told officials escorting her back to Jharkhand to take her to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi as and when required,” said a senior doctor at Safdarjung.
The victim’s mother hopes that the Hemant Soren government too will come forward and help. “I have been told (by National Commission for SC/ST) that Delhi and Jharkhand governments will take care of my daughter’s education and employment. I hope they keep their promise,” she said.
Commission chairman Rameshwar Oraon had earlier told The Telegraph that the Delhi administration had been directed to give the girl at least Rs 1 lakh under Prevention of Atrocities (against SC/ST) Act as damages, while the Jharkhand government would arrange for her enrolment in a school.
After reaching Ranchi tomorrow, the girl will meet the state social welfare secretary and other officials.