Ridhi ( name changed), a 16 years old girl from Sangam Vihar in Delhi was beaten by her family, raped by unknown men and rendered helpless on the streets, receives psychological and legal support from Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).
Ridhi’s life changed when her family found out about her boyfriend whom she met through a social media platform. Ridhi was beaten profusely by her family and was asked to leave the house for good. With nowhere to go, Ridhi boarded a rickshaw searching for a place to stay. She soon met with an unknown lady, Imrana, who on the pretext of providing her with a safe play to stay, tried to push her into commercial sex trade work. Imrana took Ridhi to a hotel in Gurgaon, where she was left alone in a room and was raped by the owner of the hotel. Scared and traumatized, Ridhi begged Imrana to send her to a safer place where she could find a decent job and live with her boyfriend in Meerut.
Rashid, Imrana’s cousin was called to help Ridhi find a job in a call centre, who rather took advantage of Ridhi’s vulnerable situation and raped her as well. Ridhi, though shattered and weak, tried to escape and managed to book a taxi to Meerut so that she could unite with her boyfriend. While arranging the taxi, she met a co-passenger, Mukesh who agreed to split the fare. Upon reaching Meerut, Ridhi’s boyfriend refused to help her and asked her to leave over the phone and switched off his phone thereafter. Mukesh heard this conversation and offered Ridhi to stay at his place with his family for few days. For 15 days, Mukesh’s family provided Ridhi with food and shelter. Mukesh then offered to marry Ridhi and for the same, she called her family, however soon her uncle came to take her back.
When she returned home, Ridhi was again tortured and beaten by her family, leading her to run away from her home again. She ended up at a police station where she refused to go back to her family. Ridhi was eventually placed in a Nari Niketan where she and her family received counselling, and during this time she revealed all these series of events. BBA’s team was appointed as the support person by CWC in this case and was directed to provide legal support.
Despite various challenges faced during the pandemic, the BBA team has been able to make significant legal interventions in Ridhi’s case such as the following:
- The accused has applied for bail five times, however, on strong grounds and arguments, the BBA team gained favourable orders from the court and all five bail applications have been rejected
- Through the team’s efforts, the family has been awarded a total sum of Rs. 2,62,500 as interim compensation
- The accused was ordered to pay a sum of Rs.15,000 as a fine for causing hardship to the child and the family and for wasting precious judicial time.