According to the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 31,677 registered rape cases in India in 2021, which translates to an average of 87 cases per day.
As support groups are channelling their angst into platforms that encourage rape survivors to speak about their perpetrators, we catalogue five heroes who have been helping justice reign.
1. Yogita BhayanaYogita did not think twice before quitting a lucrative career in the aviation industry in 2007 to start People Against Rape in India (PARI) — a venture to provide rehabilitation to rape victims.
A major push to start this came on the close heels of the Nirbhaya case in 2011.PARI works with hundreds of rape victims for legal aid, compensation, and rehabilitation.
2. MohiniWhen a man selling handwash at the traffic signal coerced Mohini to buy a pack and she refused, he threw acid on her scarring her for the rest of her life.The 2005 incident left Mohini with 38 percent burns which would need 25 surgeries to heal from.
She recalls the agony of having to hide her face coupled with the pain of her injuries.Today, Mohini has channelled her pain into a help network for victims of rape, domestic violence and acid attack through her role at Delhi State Legal Service Authority (DSLSA).
3. Mohammad Saif KhanOnce a boxer himself, Khan trains girls and boys in his village in Malihabad to throw punches.The idea came to him in 2007 when news of the Kachcha Baniyan gang — a criminal group — was doing the rounds. They were said to be looting families and gangraping victims.
His venture ‘Josh Academy Samiti’ has trained 87 girls and 18 boys in self-defence over the last 15 years.
4. Dr Kriti BhartiDr Kriti Bharti from Gujarat recalls learning what abuse and exploitation were early on in life when her mother was pressured to abort but did not. Her father left soon after.The constant physical and emotional abuse that she was subjected to while growing up motivated her to start the ‘Saarthi Trust’ in 2011.and sexual offences.
Through it, Dr Kirti has helped 41 child brides annul their marriages, stopped 1,400 weddings, and rehabilitated 7,000 children who were victims of child labour
5. Amar LalWhen Amar Lal was only five years old working to fix a telephone pole in Rajasthan, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi saw and rescued him.This fuelled in him the desire to become a lawyer. Today Amar fights cases of trafficking and child labour.
Half his day is spent in court advocating for these children while the other half is spent advocating for the Indian government to strengthen and enforce policies on children’s rights.