Bengaluru: What does the father of a child who has been sexually assaulted do? For Mohan, a taxi driver whose hopes and dreams centred on his English speaking six year old, his life and that of his wife will never be the same again.
“What has my child told me? She doesn’t speak to me anymore. All she does is cry when she sees me.” That was the heartbreaking testimony from the father of the six-year-old who was sexually assaulted, twice, by her teacher at her Indiranagar Camdridge School last week. “I don’t know what to tell you, I just want to cry,” said Mohan (name changed).
Since the attack, the victim has gone into her shell, refusing to speak to anybody, except her mother. She is so terrified that she doesn’t sleep, says Mohan. When she does, she wakes up screaming.
“Her screams are loud enough to wake the neighbours, as she cries out that someone might enter the room and attack her again,” he said.
Mohan works as a driver, while his wife is a domestic worker. The family lives in Thippasandra. “I don’t have Rs 100 in my pocket, I can’t even put diesel in my vehicle, madam,” he says.
“We are really very poor and we haven’t been working either since our daughter told us this, we have had to take care of her. All our money has been spent on medicines and neither the government nor the school management have come forward to help.”
Their dreams of seeing their daughter become an IAS officer have been shattered. “The doctors at NIMHANS have been very nice to us, but even they don’t know when she will be okay. They don’t know if it will take three months or three years,” Mohan said, his voice breaking.
A mother’s suffering, pain, anger
We have been cheated. The School, the principal, the class teacher whom I had informed and the whole school management, all of them have betrayed us, they have let down my daughter.
They did not even come to meet us after the incident, they did not even make a courtesy call.
I went with my daughter the day after the second assault. On the first day when she complained of pain, I put some ointment. On the second day when she came back from school saying the pain is unbearable and that she couldn’t stand or sit, I took her to a gynaecologist nearby. And the doctor told us to contact the school as she had clearly been violated.
I went to see the class teacher the very next day and all that woman said to me was that they would BEAT the teacher, that they would punish him. And then there was nothing. Silence. They did not do a thing to him. That’s when we went to the police to register a complaint of sexual assault against my child.
My daughter, who is an A+ student cannot even look at her books. Who is responsible? It hurts to see my daughter having sleepless nights, hallucinating, having nightmares. Which mother wants to see this? People must ensure this incident does not happen again.
No parent, no child, no one should have to go through this ordeal. You people in the media must take up the cause, you must fight for us, or the authorities will bury us. (As told to Joyeeta Chakravorty)
Their only wish was to give their child a good education and ensure she speaks English. “I’m an uneducated man, I can’t speak English, I’m just a driver. For the past two years, my daughter has been coming home and speaking to her mother in English.
It made me so proud. That is all I ever wanted for her, that is why my wife and me work so hard everyday – to give her the life we never had.”
“My child is totally traumatised, she sits in her room, trembling violently. She has not stopped trembling,” he reiterates. “She used to be so outgoing, so friendly. Now, she doesn’t even speak, not to us, not to anyone.
She sits in a corner in silence, or she mutters to herself. She freaks out if we put her in the car to take her anywhere. The only words she says are ‘hospital, court and police station’. She wants to know if we’re taking her to the hospital or to the cops again.”
“But we are never sending her back to that school”
No matter what aspirations for their child that they are putting on hold, Mohan remains firm in his resolve. “My daughter will not go back to that school,” he says. “I know what will happen next – the school will blame her. for everything that has happened. She has gone through enough, she doesn’t need that too.”
Mohan lashed out at the school management, saying, “They know what our child has been through, but we haven’t got even a single phone call from the school, asking about her condition.” He says he received a text at 11 pm on Sunday, saying a meeting with parents would be held the next morning.
“My wife, my older sister and I decided to go together. We were five minutes away from the school when we got a message saying it had been cancelled. They cancelled the meeting when they learned we would be attending.”
When he heard about the e-mail the management sent, expressing its apprehensions about meeting the parents, he said, “They are all liars. They are not scared of us. They will use their wealth to get out of this.”