When her daughter was brutally raped and murdered on the moving bus, no one ever imagined that she would become the face of all strong mothers. Speaking at a recent TEDx event Nirbhaya’s mother hit back at the patriarchial thought process of our society.
Through her struggle, Asha Devi has become a change-maker and is making sure that no daughter ever meets the ugly fate that her daughter faced. She wishes no mother would ever have to watch her daughter die in a painful situation as Nirbhaya.
Nirbhaya’s mother has been fighting for justice for her daughter for the last 7 years. It is not just the battle for justice that makes her so inspirational but also her immense desire to bring change in our society to make our country safer for girls.
While talking about her seven years struggle, she spoke at the TEDx Gurugram ‘Bold + Brilliant 2019 Women’ event,
“The struggle is on.”
She further adds:
“The initial 15 days were the most difficult. We will never be able to forget what happened. It’s been seven years today and we have struggled a lot — wherever I go, people tell me I am a strong person. But all credit goes to my husband, who is my constant support. A lot has happened in the past two weeks in the country. But I want to question the human rights commission why they only stand in support of criminals? Why not survivors?”
While questioning the gender norms in the society, Nirbhaya’s mother asked for a change in the “patriarchal mindset”:
“The government and the judicial system will do their duty, but as a society, we have a responsibility. Somewhere, as parents, we weaken the spirit of our daughters. If there is gender violence, then somewhere our patriarchal mindset is to blame. We always make our sons bold and responsible, but we instill fear in our daughters’ hearts before they step out. We have to change that and make them more confident and self-reliant.”
She further added:
“If we want to keep our daughters safe, it is our responsibility to keep them safe. My daughter had learnt self-defence and karate for 2-3 years. Had there been one or two persons, she would have tackled them. But may be her luck was bad. Whatever we faced in the last seven years, we don’t want other parents to go through it. We have to empower our daughters and never instil fear in them. It’s about sensitising our sons and teaching them how to respect women,”
Recalling how nobody came to the rescue of her daughter and her friend as they were bleeding on the road on a chilly, winter evening in Delhi, she mentioned:
“Taking out a minute to help others can save lives. People make videos of the incident, but nobody steps forward to help. In December 2012, the weather was chilly but no passerby cared to cover the bodies of the children (Nirbhaya and her friend). Somewhere down the line, I am still stuck in 2012, I haven’t been able to change myself, neither has the system. I want to ask what was my daughter’s fault, what is our fault that we have to struggle? I urge you all to come forward and raise your voice against the crime, raise awareness and educate your children.”
At IFORHER, we admire Nirbhaya’s mother’s courage and determination. It is never easy to lose a kid. But, how Nirbhaya’s mother used her pain to fight for justice and bring change in the society is quite inspiring.
We hope her 7-year-long battle to seek justice will soon come to an end.