Thane-Navi Mumbai rape survivors still await compensation
Despite pervert being arrested, and months having lapsed, families of survivors await monetary help
The police may have caught Rehan Qureshi, the paedophile accused of raping and molesting 16 children across Thane and Navi Mumbai, but the survivors' ordeal is far from over. Their families, most of them poor, are running from pillar-to-post, despite having completed all formalities, for compensation from the government.
Though they have got assurances from the police and the government, many of them have lost hope for it. Families of eight survivors have applied for compensation. While survivors are still in trauma, parents face a battle on two fronts – seeking compensation and trying hard to ensure their child gets back to normalcy.
Rehan Qureshi, The Accused
After a 13-year-old girl from Koparkhairane was raped by the pervert in 2017, her father applied for compensation, but has not received it for the past 11 months. Unable to afford psychiatric treatment for her, desperate, he turned to the Internet to educate himself and bring her out of depression.
"It is really hard to see your once naughty girl in trauma. Me and my wife have tried hard for so many months to make her feel better and secure. I don't have a lot of money, so by watching videos on social media, I tried to learn how I could bring her out of depression and improve the situation for her."
While struggling to bring his daughter back to normalcy, he had to face officials who speak rudely to him. He further added, "I had applied for compensation in the Thane collectorate seven months back, so I could use the money for her treatment. I have three more children and I don't earn a lot to take my daughter to a bigger hospital. But at the collector's office I have always got rude answers. For almost seven to eight days they asked for many changes in my documents. Then, as the police had given me all the proper documents, the officials started telling me that my file was pending and it will take time. Since then every 15 days when I call the officials to get a feedback, they rudely slam down my phone."
'No help for the poor'
In the case of another girl, her father tried to ask for compensation thrice, but then gave up. He said, "I was tired after listening to their answers. Firstly, my 12-year-old girl suffered in the worst situation. Then officials from the Thane Collector's office didn't behave properly, and asked me to submit one draft two to three times. No one is interested in helping the poor..."
The family of a survivor from Vashi was treated similarly. They said the police completed formalities for them and submitted the application. But they haven't got compensation since October 2017. They have lost hope for it.
A police officer said since 2016 none of the family members of survivors have received compensation. DCP Crime, Navi Mumbai, Tushar Doshi said, "I have asked my officials to help the survivors' families to get all procedures done immediately."
Collector 'unaware of situation'
Thane district collector, Rajesh Narvekar said, "I am not aware of this situation. I will check with the concerned department and give instructions to do the needful immediately."
State scheme to help survivors
Manodhairya Scheme is aimed at rape victims, children who are victims of sexual offences, and acid attack victims, to ensure they are brought out from the psychological shock. It is equally important to provide them shelter, financial assistance, medical and legal aid and counselling services — Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, and in special cases Rs 10 lakh, is given to the survivors. As per requirement, the rehabilitation of victims and their dependents by way of shelter, counselling, medical and legal support, education and vocational education is also done.
Former CWC and current Child Right's Commission member, Santosh Shinde said, "The state has this policy for the children's development. The process to apply for it should start immediately after the case is registered. Once compensation is approved, the survivor's family gets it on installment basis."
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Pervert arrested for molesting a minor at Mumbai Central station's foot over bridge