26-year-old Rachana (name changed to protect identity) from Rajasthan, was going through a terrible ordeal for years. On 13th March 2018, she decided to put an end to all the suffering, and called Anand Service Society—a rehabilitation centre in Indore—for help, because she could not handle the stress anymore.
Since the time Rachana was an innocent 10-year-old girl, her father had been molesting her. When she became an adult and got married, Rachana believed that she was leaving her traumatic memories behind, and was hopeful that her married life would give her the comfort she so desperately needed. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
When she finally called the Anand Service society, all she could say was that if she did not get immediate help, she would commit suicide. Monica Purohit, who works as a rehabilitation social worker with the society spoke to The Better India about the incident which could have cost Rachana her life.
“When Rachana first called us on 13th March, all she told us was that something terrible is happening to her, and she needs immediate help. On 14th, she told us how her father has been abusing her and how even her marriage was not exactly an escape from that life,” Monica said. “She kept repeating that she would commit suicide if she did not get any help, but we counselled her for hours.”
However, this was no ordinary counselling session. Monica and her husband, Gyanendra Purohit, who is a social activist and lawyer, counselled her using sign language because Rachana is hearing impaired.
On the night of 15th March, things got even more serious as Rachana was crying hysterically on the video call and signalling that no one would help her. As she conveyed this to Monica, she started to tie a noose.
Monica was alarmed and wasted no time in calling up the local police in Rajasthan and telling them the location of this poor girl who was on the cusp of her life.
Unfortunately, the police did not take Monica seriously and waved off her request to interfere with Rachana’s decision. Then, Monica and Gyanendra used all the resources at their disposal—Human rights activists, media and other friends—to get help for Rachana.
“We distributed her photos, number and location, so more and more people could pressurise the police into taking action. Finally, it worked.
The police ran down to Rachana’s place and broke down her door just as she was tying the noose around her neck. How do we know this? Gyanendra and I took turns to keep talking to Rachana. We desperately wanted to save the life of this poor, innocent girl who had been suffering throughout her life,” Monica told TBI.
Rachana was finally rescued, and according to the Times of India, she has been sent to a girls’ shelter where she is trying to find a competent interpreter to file her complaint with the police.
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Even as Rachana’s life was rescued from the noose, her worries have only just begun. She now has to take up her complaint with the police, who initially refused to help her, and live a life that will be nothing short of a challenge.
In all this chaos, it is essential to acknowledge the kind of help provided by Monica and Gyanendra. The duo went above and beyond of what they were required to do and played a fundamental role in saving an innocent life.