As they rise, men push them back

Last month in Rewari, a student on her way to class was abducted, drugged, and gang-raped by three young men. Ashok Kumar reports on how the growing crimes against women in Haryana are stifling their freedom and aspirations Rewari’s Civil Hospital is a drab, double-storey structure that caters to roughly 15 lakh people living in and around the district. Sitting on a wooden bench in the hospital premises, in a small park littered with plastic cups, cigarette butts and polythene bags, is a frail man, mostly unnoticed by the crowd of visitors hurrying past him. In his late forties, he is a meagrely paid Physical Training Instructor at a local school. He augments his modest income by training kabaddi students in his village. He fought against all odds, including the violently patriarchal mindset entrenched in Haryana’s culture, to fulfil the aspirations of his teenage daughter, a Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) topper in Haryana. On this September afternoon, he cuts a forlorn figure. His “little princess” — sexually assaulted by three men from his own village on the morning of September 12 — is undergoing treatment inside the hospital. “Having struggled all my life to make both ends meet, I just wanted to see my daughter stand on her own feet and get a government job,” he says. The girl’s teachers and friends fondly remember the teenager as “obedient”, “studious” and “industrious”. In 2016, she was invited by the Ministry of Defence for the Republic Day parade, and was part of a select group of students that met the President — a proud moment for her family.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/as-they-rise-men-push-them-back/article25139557.ece

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