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It was Sunday afternoon. Summer was at its peak. Pari loved her summer vacation. She had just completed her class II exams. Summer vacations are always welcomed by student community as being on vacation meant having fun through out the day. Days would start with playing with friends, going out with family, eating her favourite fruit i.e. Mango to her hearts content. Summer vacation also meant going to their relatives houses and meeting up cousins.
Pari loved every aspect of it except for the fact that when it was time to visit her second uncle’s house she would hesitate. Her parents never understood this behaviour. Her second uncle, Prabhat, called her Princess and seemed to be the most affectionate towards Pari. He would bring her the most expensive gifts, dresses and chocolates. But pari wouldn’t want anything of that.
Her mother thought that her denial was one of her mischievous activities and would send her forcefully with her Uncle to spend some quality time. Her Uncle had convinced everyone that he loved Pari the most as she reminded her of his own lost daughter. Prabhat had lost his one year old daughter due to pneumonia and hence Pari’s mother was very sympathetic towards him.
Prabhat would command that when he is playing with Pari no one should disturb him. He would take Pari to his room and close the door only to tell everyone later that no one can come between him and his beloved Pari. But when ever Pari came near Prabhat she would act weird. As a child she was not very vocal about what made her uncomfortable. So even her parents thought that if she would spend more time with Prabhat, she would feel less uncomfortable .Hence they made sure that every summer vacation they visit Prabhat’s place.
This time also was no different. The moment when it was decided that pari and her parents would visit, Prabhat’s house, pari was upset. Unable to understand this behaviour, her parents most of the time thought that every thing would be normal with time and ignored to enquire the details of the issue.
The moment Pari arrived at her uncle’s house, she was welcomed with beautiful dresses, Belgian chocolates & most expensive toys. Same thing was repeated this year also. After having supper, Prabhat took Pari with him to his room and closed the door.
The mask came down and the monster that lay hidden inside the layers of fakeness surfaced. He approached Pari wearing a smirk on his face. Pari was already shivering.
In the lounge, other family members were hooked to the TV set and were enjoying the football match.
Suddenly there was a loud scream from Prabhat’s room. Prabhat came out running with a bleeding palm. His palm was cut starting from one end to another and blood was oozing out. Every one was shocked and asked about what just happened . Just when Prabhat was about to answer, pari appeared with a knife in her hand and said,
” Uncle is bad! He does bad – touch to me every time. Kisses me on my lips. I don’t like him. So I cut him, like Mama cuts Mango”.
Pari’s parents were as if frozen. Prabhat could not believe what pari had just said. He like every single time had thought that he will make up a story and escape without doubt. But this time was different.
It was now no more a hidden fact that he was a child abuser and he had been abusing Pari since past two to three years. Being a child pari was helpless. And moreover being a family member, no one can think that a girl child will be at risk with her own uncle. Hence no one ever thought of sitting down with Pari and understanding her deep seated fear and emotions. Had it not been for a special class in school where children were made aware about the difference between bad touch and good touch, how to escape an unwanted situation, how to say openly about every details without fear, Pari would not have been able to come out with courage that day.
Prabhat was booked under the POCSO(protection of children from sexual offence) act, 2012 and was forwarded to custody. Pari was sent to a rehabilitation centre where there were many child psychologist to help her forget the unfortunate circumstances in her life and effort was made to keep her innocence intact. She was made to believe that she is really a princess. Her parents were proud of their little child who had made them understand that she was never to be ignored.
Many children, both boys and girls are abused sexually and mostly by family members. Every awkward behaviour of the child needs to be closely monitored to ensure such happenings do not occur. More than anything, the child needs to understand the physical gestures well.