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This is Ashas story. Asha and her family were living at a construction site at the time of the incident as her parents are both daily wage labourers. Asha is 1 year old. The incident occurred in the month of December. Ashas mother was at home doing some housework and her father was drinking with one of their neighbors. Asha and her siblings knew the man and would refer to him as ‘uncle’.
At around 1 pm that afternoon, her father came home to have lunch and asked his wife to send some food to his friend. She sent Asha to deliver the food. After Asha returned, she was playing outside her house. However the ‘ uncle’ came back to their house, and took Asha along with him on the pretext of playing with her. After some time, Asha’s mother heard her child crying. When she went out looking for her, the man was standing outside his ‘jhuggi’ with the crying baby. The mother took the child home and saw blood coming out of her vagina. She was shocked and she knew that something serious had happened to her daughter. She also knew who the culprit was as he was the only one who had spent time alone with the child. She then informed the police.
The police approached HAQ: Centre for Child Rights to help this family. Members of the HAQ team met with the girl and her mother. The girl was too small to communicate. Her parents were experiencing immense anxiety and worry. HAQ provided regular counseling to the parents and helped them through the emotional process of coming to terms with what happened to their child and also how to deal with the same. HAQ also provided legal support to the girl and her family. A few months after the incident, the family was able to give their complete statement in court and they are now carrying on with their everyday lives.