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The Murder Of 8-Year-Old Zainab Ansari: Will She Remain Just Another Victim?

Khabron mein kyu tasveer masum Zainab ki hai
Kachre mein jo laash mili, woh hum sab ki hai

(Why does the new carry pictures of innocent Zainab
The corpse we found amidst the garbage is all of ours)

Each and every person on this earth has been killed once again. Our dignity has been snatched once again. This time, it is an eight-year-old innocent girl from Pakistan, Zainab Ansari. She was allegedly kidnapped, horrifically raped and brutally murdered. Her corpse was discovered near a heap of garbage. This was the 12th such case reported from Kasur over the years, the area where this heinous incident took place. And according to the postmortem reports, the DNA found on the victim was similar to previous other victims.

It is extremely shameful that the police have not been able to arrest the culprit yet. But this is just another case and as usual, protests are being held, candle marches are being organised, talks and debates are taking place and the issue is getting huge media coverage. But has the problem been solved? Absolutely not.

Every time such an incident occurs, voices are raised against rape and molestation but after some time, the extreme pain the victim underwent is forgotten and things go back to normal. And then there appears another rapist who ruins the life of another Zainab.

We all have so many questions on our minds: When will these people get punished? When will this come to a halt? When will girls get a chance to live their lives without fear? When will the sick mentality of people change? There are an uncountable number of questions but nobody has answers. Where should we find the solution to all such problems?

Every time I come across any such news, my heart sinks to the bottom. I don’t want to sympathise or feel pity because such emotions are not sufficient for this kind of excessive suffering. Being a girl, I try to feel the agony but even in my dreams, I can’t imagine it. But of course, such cases work perfectly in haunting and disheartening thousands of girls like me. I feel ashamed that I am a part of such a brutal world, and I feel guilty that I am unable to do anything. 

Who is responsible for these cruel rapes and abductions? Some people are of the view that women are to be blamed for such incidents because according to these people, short dresses worn by women provoke men into committing sexual abuse. They believe that girls should not go out at night. How cheap is the mentality of these sick people! Such narrow-minded people have no right to lift their heads up when they can’t provide a safe environment to women.

It was neither the fault of little Zainab, nor the fault of Nirbhaya. The monsters who keep their devilish eyes on women are the real culprits. And a share of the blame falls on the common masses, who awake only after the occurrence of such an incident.

We always have been waiting for law and order to bring about justice. We look up to the people in high positions to make justified decisions. But everything seems to be in vain. Perhaps now, these people who commit such acts should be handed over to the public and then we can watch the outcome. These people deserve a hell worse than death – perhaps only then will such shameful incidents cease to occur as no one will dare to commit such an act again.

If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at dial1098@childlineindia.org.in. You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.

You must be to comment.
  1. Abhimanyu Singh

    Rapists should be killed or handed to the public, public will teach them lesson.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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