As the government was gearing up and making arrangements to observe the National Girl Child Day (January 24), the four-year-old girl who became a victim of violent sexual assault last month was still wriggling in pain sans proper medical treatment.
It took a series of protests, media coverages, and outbursts on social media platforms by local journalists and activists to shake up the system and wake up the ruling governance from its deep slumber.
The four-year-old girl was sexually assaulted on December 20, 2020, in a bus near Bhola Nagar by its driver, who also tried to kill her.
While the girl was fortunate enough to survive the murder bid, the accused driver was arrested within 24 hours.
While the media aired news highlighting the plight of the girl and her poor family, social activist Vasant Mane sat on agitation demanding compensation and asking the government to shoulder the entire responsibility of providing medical help to the girl who stays at a slum cluster in Bhayandar.
Sensing the seriousness of the issue, Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) mayor Jyotsna Hasnale immediately met the agitators and announced financial assistance of Rs. 1 lakh to the family with an assurance of more help in coming days, following which the protest was withdrawn.
Hasnale also made an announcement that the MBMC will create a special fund for women and children in distress.
“I will resign from my post if my proposal to tag funds for the purpose is ignored by the civic administration in the upcoming budget,” said Hasnale.
“It is shocking to learn that the girl who has faced such a serious attack is forced to travel all the way to a hospital in Mumbai four days a week. It’s the duty of the government to provide her proper medical and financial aid,“ said Mane.
More help has started coming in from citizens and social organisations including the Mira Bhayandar Mahanagar Palika Vartahar Sangh, an apex body of journalists, which contributed Rs 11, 000 directly to the family.