New Delhi: At a time when stories of child abuse are hitting headlines every day, CNN-IBN meets a 17-year-old girl who dared to do the unthinkable. She blew the lid off a horrific sex scandal at a child care shelter in Haryana.
The young girl showed tremendous courage to expose rampant sexual abuse at children shelters in India. CNN-IBN is calling her Vijeyta to protect her identity. Vijeyta's story started with tragedy.
"My father sexually abused me. My mother committed suicide. My father then sent me to the shelter home," Vijeyta said.
That's how she first reached her new home, a children's shelter that was meant to keep her safe. But she wasn't alone. The relative of the warden allegedly rampantly abused the girls, who were made to parade naked, were forcefully intoxicated, abortions were carried out and the girls who refused were brutally beaten. On May 7, 2012, six years after Vijeyta first came to the home, she gathered the courage and motivated two other girls to break free.
It takes courage to walk away and Vijeyta did just that. Vijeyta's revelations rocked the country and her courage lifted the lid off and exposed the state of children shelters in India. In the state of Haryana, a new state law was passed that any case related to children will now be addressed only by special children courts.
It also led to the arrest of six people including the warden. More than 130 girls were liberated from a life of sexual slavery. But there is one thing about the home that she doesn't want to let go of. The memories of her best friend.