“Didi has always made us proud. Aisa kabhi nahin hua ki hamein unki wajah se kuchh sunna pada. Woh hamare parivar ka garv hai (We never had to hear anything on account of her. She is our family’s pride),” say the two brothers (18 and 20 years old respectively) of the girl whose rape and brutalisation a fortnight ago has stirred the whole nation. They were seated outside her ICU room at Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, hours before she was flown out to Singapore for further treatment.
It often takes one crime or individual to be the pivot of an issue that had never hitherto received its due attention. The young girl, who was the victim of brutal gangrape and savagery has become just that: a hero for thousands across the country. As Jagruti continues to fight for a life that will have to be reconstructed with a lot of medical help and her own tremendous will, fighting alongside her is a whole gamut of Indians: from big towns and small, students and professionals, middle-class individuals to activist groups, women, and men. They are marching in protest, holding candle-light vigils, and venting ire on social networking sites. We at Outlook have decided to name her Jagruti: the awakening. She is our woman of the year.