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Unspoken words but screaming heart of Nandu got her justice: A gruesome journey of Nandu to prove that she was raped.

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Nandu is a deaf and dumb girl living in a very remote village of India. She is only child of a single mother who somehow manages to get 2-3 meals a day by working hard in sunlight for the landlords. One day when Nandu was taking her cattle's to the farm, one of the man from her village caught her in a deserted alley and raped her thinking that a deaf dumb girl will not be able to tell anybody that she was raped. Nandu had never ever been to school so she could not even write and express what happened with her. But she went running back home and by her signs she explained everything to her mother. Her mother didn't loose her heart and mind and instantly ran to the Police Station to lodge a FIR (First Information Report).The heart broken mother and nandu collected her broken bangles , torn blouse , undergarments and all the other evidences to show to the inspector so that he wont say that they are faking it. But, to their shock the inspector told them that he wont register their FIR and asked them to leave. The inspectors in India especially in Rajasthan will generally not take a FIR if the women are from a low caste. So, disappointed but not shattered Nandu went to Taraji, a lady who is fighting for violence against women in Rajasthan. They knew that she will help them getting justice.Unfortunately, when they went there Tara ji was down with high fever and was bed ridden. Tara ji was very disappointed and really wanted to get up and help Nandu but Taraji's family didn't allow Taraji to get up from the bed. Then, after convincing her family and her body Taraji finally got up and managed to go to the police station somehow. On seeing Taraji in such a weak state as she was not even able to walk properly , the inspector agreed to write a FIR. So, finally Nandu could lodge a FIR. Then, the case went in to the court. On the first day of court hearing, Judge asked Nandu to take oath of the holy Gita."Since Nandu is deaf and dumb how will she take an oath" said her lawyer. But the judge had his own set of rules and regulations and said that the case wont proceed further unless and until she takes an oath.Then her lawyer and audience pleaded to the Judge that you have to relax your rules for a special case. After hours and hours of pleading and requests the Judge finally agreed to relax the rules for Nandu.Then, came another obstacle to explain the incident. Nandu and her mother uses signs among themselves which they decided themselves and not from any school. Now nobody except Nandu and her mother would understand their signs too. Whatever Nandu's mother said could not be trusted as the prosecution lawyer claimed that she can lie. So, the Judge asked Taraji to get a dumb-deaf teacher who can read her signs and explain to court.The Hearing got postponed. Nandu, her mother and Taraji traveled some 300 km(186 miles) to another place to convince a teacher. This teacher said that I cannot come with you as you don't have court orders handy with you and asked them to go back and get him orders only then he will come with them. Taraji and Nandu again had to convince him by requesting that they will pay him extra but please come with them to the court. So, he finally agreed. All the 4 people now traveled back to the Jaipur court. On the hearing day, Nandu started explaining the teacher about the incident by her signs. Now, the next difficult task was that teacher didn't understood her single sign as what he teaches in school is absolutely different. The sign language that Nandu and her mother used was their own decided some random signs and were not defined anywhere. Now, it was a hassle in court as about what next. So, the judge ordered the teacher and Nandu to sit together and try to learn each others signs. For 4 months Teacher and Nandu sat for hours and hours just that Nandu can explain him the incident.After 4 months in another court hearing , the teacher explained to court the incident. The prosecution lawyer asked all types of ridiculous and shameless questions to Nandu which his teacher had to show her by signs. The situation was very horrendous.The case went on for 3 long years and finally after that the day came when she got justice. The judge punished the accused with 14 years behind the bars.

On this Women's Day Taraji awarded Nandu with appreciation award and certificate .Nandu is really an inspiration really deserves this award.Her courage and persistence to get justice is commendable. It took 2 years for her to see her criminal behind the bars and there was so much poverty in the family that every time she had to borrow money from neighbors to get to court but she never gave up. Her self esteem is higher than the sky and we salute her.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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Comments

Precious M's picture

Disability is not inability!

Dear Upasana,

Thank you for sharing Nandu's story with us. She stood tall in the midst of her troubles and finally got justice. I need to hear more stories like this. Indeed disability is not inability!

Precious

My pen speaks

Sharontina's picture

A big salute!

A big salute to Nandu and her mom who really stood by her side to accomplish this. I really wonder how many will take the pain to punish the accused rather than find relief for themselves to get rid of the scar caused.

thnks for the posting dear.

love.

Merlin Sharontina

amirchima's picture

Inspirational

There are so many takeaways from Nandu's story: perseverance, pride, patience, support.
All of these factors played a role in Nandu achieving justice. It's an important lesson to observe that it can take time and energy to stand up for what you believe in.

Thank you so much for sharing this story!

erinluhmann's picture

Inspired

You've captured an incredible story about overcoming both physical and institutionalized discrimination. I felt invested in Nandu's journey from the very beginning and was particularly moved by the fact that she had the patience to teach her sign language to a male teacher in order to testify in court. You have a great sense for inspirational stories!

I look forward to reading more of your stories!

Best,
Erin

UpasanaC's picture

Will share more precious M

Will be sharing more such stories which empowers and en strengthen all of us that we dont give up even if we are in a deep trouble.

Cheers to Life

I am sure that Nandu will be happiest when she gets your Salute.I wish to pass her the same some day.

Cheers to Life

UpasanaC's picture

Rightly said amirchima

We have loads to learn and share from Nandu.. if a girl who cant even speak out for her justice can win her justice then why not all of us who can shout out loud for our own rights. Lets all learn and follow this that no matter what happens we don't have to keep shut.

Cheers to Life

UpasanaC's picture

Yes Erin

You have rightly judged, it was so painful for Nandu to travel from one place to another just to find a person who can understand what she is trying to say and then come back and share back with the court. Also, this guy charged that poor girl for this..imagine , somebody charging you for your own words.Can anybody see a worse day? but still she never ever gave up and kept fighting for her justice and yes she WON.

Cheers to Life

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