In 2012, Rejina’s mother approached one of the social workers of Shakti with a photograph of her daughter Rejina who was missing for nearly six years. At the time Rejina went missing she was about 12 years old. Shakti social worker got in touch with Jabala – a Kolkata based organisation to know the whereabouts of Rejina. Jabala shared that the girl was under institutional care of Rescue Foundation. A Home Investigation Report (HIR) needed to be shared at the earliest which was done by the Shakti social worker. On the basis of the HIR, Rejina was reintegrated with her family through Basirhat PS in North 24 Parganas District of West Bengal.

During her various meetings with the social worker she shared that at the time of rescue she could not bring any of her jewelleries or her savings, as police did not give her enough time. Through the various initiatives of financial inclusion of survivors of human trafficking, Rejina joined income generation programs and started earning. In the mean time she married a man who left her when she got pregnant. Her struggles increased because she now had her mother and her daughter to take care of.

Among all these struggle, Rejina came to know about the State Victim Compensation Scheme from her case worker. She filed for victim compensation before the District legal Services Authority (DLSA) through her lawyer. DLSA accepted her plea and gave her a compensation of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 only. In the face of abject poverty and her struggle with her maternal family, especially her brother, Rejina refused to accept this and decided to go for a review petition before the State Legal Services Authority. For this she faced challenges from her brother who wanted a share of the compensation amount.

In spite of all the challenges she faced, both at home and while pursuing her review petition, she never gave up for once and diligently appeared for each and every hearing. She worked with her social worker whenever things turned difficult. As a result of this and the continuous support from her social worker, her order was reviewed and she received the compensation she deserved.

Rejina’s initial Victim compensation was about four lakhs rupees only which was raised to Rs 6 lakhs after review petition was filed before SLSA. She plans to keep the major portion of this money to support the education of her daughter and is planning to use a portion of it to build a house where she is going to live with her elderly mother and her daughter.

Team Sanjog |
Monday , June 22, 2020