From rape survivor to counsellor: a brave journey

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From rape survivor to counsellor: a brave journey

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Kolkata:  For 14 months after her ordeal in February last year, Kolkata's Park Street rape survivor struggled to find a job to support her ailing mother and two daughters.

She finally found hope in April this year, when a women's rights group roped her in to counsel and help others like her heal. The initiative, a helpline-cum-social network page, is meant for victims of social injustice, including rape.

"Since I have gone through this entire tragedy and I came out a survivor, I could actually connect with them on that level... It's a healing process, a two way street. I give, they give and we heal each other," said the 37-year-old rape survivor.

Women's rights activist Santasree Chaudhuri had tried to find the Park Street rape survivor a job. But when she failed, she decided to tailor make one for her.

"It was very unfair on the part of entire Kolkata not to offer a single job. I tried. I couldn't hide the identity because it was moral issue for me. So when I said this is the girl, they all said we will get back to you but till today I am waiting for that call," Ms Chaudhuri said.

The rape survivor's salary is Rs 10,000 a month, not exactly princely, but enough to give her self-confidence and some frills.

"I took my kids out. I asked them what they wanted to eat. And they all decided on Chinese dinner and it felt amazing because I could take them out on my account and I could feed them and I was paying the bill, finally," said the single mother.

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The best part of it all, she will be helping others like her, and she knows that's also the best way to help her as well.



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