The sessions at Diksha (a CRY partner) are generally a very cheerful affair. The children are usually chirping with excitement and wonder – playing, participating and engaged in activities. But in one corner was Bipasha – an adolescent girl who had been attending the sessions for almost a couple of years on and off, would not talk at all. She listens to and observes each session carefully but when it came to participating, she would hardly open up.
Representatives of Diksha, started to take great interest in Bipasha. They knew she was full of potential and had different skills to pursue. All she needed was some encouragement. Bipasha’s mother was a sex worker and she did not wish to keep Bipasha and her sister in the vicinity of the Kalighat red light district. The two sisters lived in two different institutional homes. Every couple of months Bipasha came to stay with her mother for some time and would come to Diksha.
One day there was a session at Diksha on Child Sexual Abuse and the difference between “Good and Bad Touch” was being explained. Bipasha started getting uneasy and feeling restless. Representatives of Diksha asked her if she wanted to share something. She opened up about how a security guard in the institutional home was trying to abuse her.
“It is then that I was given to understand that if a child is getting abused, it’s not his/her fault. That was the first time I decided to speak up – for the first time I was not scared anymore. Something inside me changed,” said Bipasha. Child abuse is serious and it needs to be addressed.
What was revealed was an even more shocking story. Bipasha’s elder sister was abused and when their mother had taken it up, the person had been arrested but only for a few months. When he came out of jail, he became a constant threat to their family. Being a strong willed person, Bipasha’s mother was determined to stand up for her. With Diksha’s support they filed a complaint against the home and they were quick to take action. The abuser was asked to leave. Bipasha came back to live with her mother in Kalighat.
Now Bipasha is a regular at the Diksha sessions and also a core group member. “I try and motivate my friends and other children to speak up; because if we don’t, the abuser will keep on growing stronger. I have got this strength from my mother and from Diksha.” It is crucial to understand that child abuse in India is on the rise and immediate actions are required to meet with the issue.
Bipasha’s story did not get unnoticed and in November 2017, she was awarded “Birangana” by the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights . “It was the best day of my life. My message to all those children who get abused: be strong and you will find support just like me”.
Bipasha is doing well in her class and wants to bring social change when she grows up.
Child Rights and You is an active non profit organization in India. The objective of CRY has always been working for the upliftment of children since the beginning. People who donate for children to CRY are able to make a contribution towards child welfare. You can also help children like Bipasha and contribute in growing up healthy and happy. You can donate money online. Donate to CRY today!