The parents had invested all their hopes in their daughter and believed she would recover soon, says the counsellor from Delhi Legal Services Authority, who had met the family on more than one occasion at the Safdarjung Hospital, where the gang-rape victim had been earlier admitted.
After a nearly two-week long heroic battle, the 23-year-old paramedical student succumbed to injuries in the early hours of Saturday at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, where she had been shifted to earlier this week.
On her last scheduled visit to meet the family, the counsellor, who didn’t want to be named, said she had been denied access.
“The last time I went, I wasn’t allowed to meet her. I realized that something was up. It was the day she was flown to Singapore,” she said.
On Wednesday night, the critically-injured victim was flown in an air ambulance to Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth hospital.
“I met the family more than one occasion to provide them with legal and social support. The Bar Council subsequently offered to give them the best lawyers. So I gave the family all the papers. They wanted it in Hindi and so I gave it to them in Hindi,”she said.
The brutality of the attack, said the counselor, had left the mother ‘totally shaken and shattered’.
“The father remained confident that his daughter would get well. He enquired about finding her a job. A local politician who also present was making them all sorts of promises,” she said.
The counsellor described the family as being ‘very close-knit’ one. The family is reportedly from Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia district.
“They have two young sons. I think they are doing part-time jobs. They wanted to study further. The father works in a public transport company. They had invested everything in their daughter. She would have become a physiotherapist and gone on to support her family,” the counsellor said.
A feeling utter helplessness, recalled the counselor, came over her when she saw the victim.
“I only caught a glimpse of her. I wanted to say to her that we are there for her, don’t worry. More than her, given the condition she was in, I felt helpless,” she said.
The mother, the counselor said, was in no position to converse or meet people. “In a situation like this, you lose faith in God, in everything. The mother was oblivious to who was coming or going.”
Commending the Safdarjung Hospital for protecting the privacy of the family, the counselor said, “The hospital did an excellent job of monitoring access to the family. Also, in terms of medical care, they did everything they could. There were 5-6 doctors who were attending to her.”
Urging the media to keep the focus on violence against women, the counselor said: “The media should also highlight and remain alert about other rape cases as well. Two months ago, I visited a rape victim in Sangam Vihar, where a 16-year-old was raped by her neighbor. Her mother is shattered. There many such cases. The media should take them up.”