Gang-raped by six men in Sikar in Rajasthan more than a year ago, the girl has undergone both mental and physical trauma and has been waging a silent battle against all odds since the time the men left her on the roadside to die after brutally raping her.
When this IANS correspondent met the victim in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), she was lying on the hospital bed with her face covered with the sheet, while her sister and 65-year-old widowed mother sat near her - hoping that the next round of medical treatment will help her regain her health.
"She had a dream of doing something for the family, though she is youngest among six sisters," the victim's 22-year old sister, a constant companion, told IANS.
"We have already spent more than a year in various hospitals but to no avail. We know her pain. We want justice. We don't know when my sister will come back home. We don't have an answer," the sister said.
"She has undergone 19 surgeries so far. One was scheduled for Jan 3 but doctors said she is not fit for the surgery," she added.
The girl was shifted to AIIMS from Jaipur's J.K. Lone hospital last February.
The state government took a decision to shift the victim to AIIMS hospital after the national capital was rocked by street protests over the Dec 16, 2012, gang rape. The state government feared that the minor girl's incident would spark similar protests in Rajasthan and decided to fund her treatment.
The victim underwent 17 surgeries in Rajasthan and two in AIIMS.
The family had migrated from Bihar's Darbhanga district to Sikar in July 2012 in the hope of a good life.
The incident happened on Aug 20, 2012, when the victim, along with her three sisters and a neighbour, were returning home after watching the Salman Khan-starrer "Tiger".
"A car came. The men inside the car tried to drag me and my neighbour but they failed. But one of them pulled her inside the car and sped away," said the elder sister with tears in her eyes.
"We ran behind the car screaming and shouting but could not rescue her," she said.
She said that initially the police refused to file an FIR and a case was registered only after local people demonstrated outside the police station.
"The next day at noon my sister was found in another area. She was bleeding and her condition was very critical. We admitted her in a government hospital in Sikar and later doctors referred her to Jaipur," the sister said.
When asked whether the victim talks to the family, the sister just said: "Very less, she is very brave.. she wants to survive."
She said police arrested only two of the accused, while four more are still at large. "All of them should be arrested and justice should be done. Look at her, she is just a child. Her life has ended. Is there any hope for us?" the sister wailed.
(Alok Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
--IANS (Posted on 08-01-2014)