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April 5, 2020

The woman who ties RAKHI to everyone in Connaught Place

Connaught Place, well known as CP is the most loved and desirable place in Delhi to hang with friends. It has got many bars, cafe and what not to party around and chill. You must have heard many stories about CP but still, there is this story you haven’t heard of.

Ritu Roy, a 30 year- old widow, whose dreams were broken at the age of 19, she was attacked with acid because she refused a man’s sexual advances. This is what she paid for just a simple NO. The acid disfigured left side of her face, neck, chest and hands. It almost left her visually disabled, physically impaired and emotionally broken. Just like us, Ritu also had a happy family with her husband and two kids. But today she sits in the B block of Connaught Place. She does not beg but accepts what people offer to her as help. Her two kids always keep wandering the inner and outer circle of Connaught Place with beads bands in their hands in hope that anyone will buy them and they will be able to meet their daily needs.

On this Raksha Bandhan, just like every year, she was sitting on the streets of Connaught Place with a pile of rakhis in-front of her and tied them on wrists of that person who offered help to her. She says she will tie that rakhi which she loves the most. When interviewed, while she tied the rakhi she asked a person how do you feel? And in answer, he asked the same question back. Very calmly she replied – we all should feel happy. Her life was dark when she met with that accident but her life became darker when the doctor who proposed to help her left her alone by herself at Bangla Sahib. She was not given any job because of her disfigured face and had then she had to struggle to live. Live and fight in this cruel world where people like that man who attacked her and the doctor who gave false hopes to her rules. But Ritu was a fighter she chose to live and to quit.

In India, there are many crimes taking place against women but acid attack leaves women like a living corpse. There were no separate statistics for acid attack violence in India till 2013 because the Indian Criminal Law did not recognise it as a separate criminal offense. It became a crime with the amendment in Indian Penal Code in Feb 2013. Now, this is treated as a crime under section 326A  and 326B. If we count the statistics now we all will be disgusted to know that our government has so less protection and how less they work for the victims.

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