The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Shocking.......or more?

This is my 50th post and I never wanted it to be on an issue for which even 'shocking' looks weak as a word to describe. But my conscience forces me not to write on anything else since I came across the incident described below just a while back.

Elaan- a city-based youth group in existence since 2004 (Soon to be registered as an NGO) works in the field of combating child sexual abuse. Pranaadhika, it's founder, shared a current case as put below.

A bubbly, intelligent and eloquent 14-year-old schoolgirl is experiencing rape and isolation everyday for the last three years at the hands of her own father. She comes back from school every afternoon to go through abuse which turns rape every night. She has no one to turn to. Disclosure of the trauma to her mother yielded denial and no support.

Both of her parents are working and the father is in the legal profession. She wants the abuse to stop. Her parents are strict. They do not allow her to play, socialize with friends or "hang out" anytime. For them, education is priority.

As Elaan invited solutions to tackle the case on an Orkut forum in the community named after this group yesterday, thoughts from readers ranging from pure emotional outburst to rational solution to analysis of various pros and cons of moving to put a stop to this incident started pouring in thick and fast.

After a lot of quick deliberation in order to tackle the case sensitively and skilfully, Elaan is moving with a gameplan. It will aim somehow taking the girl away from her parents, listen to her voice and take her opinion before a possible legal step (Perhaps experience has taught the girl to speak her mind, despite being a minor). Because not only a court case might take years to end, it will have serious repercussions for the girl no matter the case against her father is won or lost. Also the culprit being a lawyer the case is not going to be easy. After all the man has got three years to make his case in anticipation of something going wrong someday and as a result he is required to defend himself.

According to Elaan, child incest is the highest in Kolkata. If that is represented by the experience of this hapless girl, needless to say it indeed is a very, very disturbing phenomenon. It leaves a sane mind disoriented. I am not sure if anybody can have a well-thought, comprehensive solution to fight this evil.

Anybody interested to find out more about Elaan, shoot a mail to Wish it success in its pursuits.


  1. Sensitive issue. Needs careful handling on the part of NGO.

  2. Anirban, while the efforts by Elaan are definitely highly commendable, what is disturbing is that this is not an isolated incident...and that in itself is the scary part, that there is so much child abuse all around that it becomes just another case.

  3. It is so sensible on your part to have a blog-post on such a burning issue. Our society is indeed infamous for its double-speak; on one hand it is vocal about protecting children from abuse of all kinds and, on the other, it takes a hush-hush stance on the issue of child incest. In a family, a girl child being subjected to repetitive physical abuse (boys are marginally less vulnerable) by male members of the family (sometimes by the father or father-figures) happens much too often. I was, in the recent past, too shocked by such a case myself, when it was reported to me, the first reaction - as is common - was utter disbelief. I didn't know how to advise the girl in question (who is nearing adulthood), whether to ask her seek police help or to go to an NGO. I did my bit in terms of counselling, which she needed most, as she herself wasn't sure who wronged she was! She is, I'm afraid, psychologically scarred for life. The worst part in her story of abuse was it continued for more than ten years and it did so with the tacit support of her own mother.
    I earnestly welcome the laudable efforts of the NGO Elaan and I hope that such offences do not go unpunished. Let there be a collective consciousness on our part to stop such gross abuse of our children.


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