Where most of the women after being raped, under the blaming fingers and fault-finding eyes of the society, abstain on their life, Sunita Krishnan shone like a diamond from her dark coal life. Countless no of women in India undergo sexual assaults and I have my every bit of empathy towards each, but to honour Sunita, everything, from my cheering claps to my lauding words, would run in vain.
The child, Sunita, who hailed from Bangalore, too like us underwent an ordinary life until she arrived at her 15, when her life plunged into a darkness she couldn’t have imagined ever. Sad, but this 15 years innocent was raped by a gang of 8 while she was working on a neo-literacy campaign for the Dalit community. But, not was her desire to live lost in this darkness. Instead, this darkness pushed out the extraordinary her from the very ordinary her.
Whether Indian judiciary meted out her the justice or not is pointless to be discussed in my article, for you, I and all of us are cognizant of the deep-seated sexism and patriarchy in India. But, what I find quintessential to mention is the justice she did to her hopeless life and don’t-know how many other hopeless lives. Yes, she strove and strove to eke out a living for herself amidst the sea of loneliness. The penultimate accomplishment of her life was to establish Prajwala, an NGO operated to rescue and rehabilitate sex-trafficked victims of the society. To date, she has doled out wings to some 12,000 survivors to fly, who otherwise were on the edge to fall into lifelessness. And the ultimate accomplishment is that she has been very recently laureled with ‘Padma Shri’ (country’s 4th highest civilian award).
I just wish, the entire womankind of our country could have absorbed, even if a bit, of brevity, valour and stoicism this woman exudes out. I’ve seen many lips bending along its edge under the shear of happiness but pain? Seldom. But, Sunita is one such rareness in the ocean of conventionality.
By Prerna Daga