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When I Answered The Video Call She Showed Me A Noose And Was About To Kill Herself

How far will you go to help a stranger? Tell them the right platform at a railway station, offer your phone to someone in distress, or may be take a road accident victim to a hospital. What else? Half the world consists of people who won’t even do these things and then in the other half we find gems like the Purohit couple who cross oceans for people they don’t even know.

In March 2018, Monica Sharma Purohit interacted with a deaf and mute woman for 14 hours at a stretch over a video call and saved her life.

Her efforts prevented emotionally volatile and suicidal Shilpa (name changed to protect identity) from hanging herself to death. In fact, she was standing on her bed with a noose in hand as she video-called Monica, who is a special educator, sign language expert, and a social worker who has worked extensively for the betterment of deaf and mute.

What went wrong

The incident is set in Hanumangarh in northern Rajasthan where Shilpa was born deaf and mute. She grew up in the middle of most horrible circumstances as her own father became her rapist.

Perpetrators find it easy to sexually abuse people who are deaf and mute because they know it is way tougher for them to raise an alarm, and even if they do, people might not understand them or take them seriously. After years of being preyed on by her father, Shilpa was married off.

Here, it is important to understand that Shilpa, similar to many others like her, did not even understand what words like sex, consent, love, and safe touch meant. Moreover, she was unaware of the difference between a consensual, loving intercourse and a forceful, unnerving act of rape.

Here, it is important to understand that Shilpa, similar to many others like her, did not even understand what words like sex, consent, love, and safe touch meant. Moreover, she was unaware of the difference between a consensual, loving intercourse and a forceful, unnerving act of rape.

So when she began a new life with her husband she expected that those horrifying cobwebs from her past will not confront her ever again. But her life came crashing down when her husband tried to come close to her and establish sexual relations. Shilpa freaked out and lost every bit of courage that she was holding on to for all these years while braving a rapist father.

It felt like the suffocating cobwebs from her past were reaching to strangulate her. She was shocked to realize that the same rotting dungeon awaited her here, too.

Giving up on life

Twenty-three-year-old Shilpa was reeling under years of accumulated depression which deepened within a week into her marriage. She googled for contact number of counsellors Gyanendra Purohit and his wife Monica and told them she wanted to end her life.

Next night, she again called up and but time it was alarming. She was there with a noose to end it once and for all.

According to PTI, Monica, director of Anand Service society working for deaf children in Indore, said, “This was a totally unexpected scene. My husband was in Mumbai. He called me up and I started counselling the woman through sign language (over the video call). Simultaneously, we coordinated with the Hanumangarh police seeking their help.”

“The woman told us that her father had sexually abused her since childhood and now her husband is also brutal to her. Therefore, she is under depression and wanted to take the extreme step,” she said.

Divine intervention

No amount of appreciation is enough for what the Purohits did that day. While Monica subtly started counselling Shilpa from 1,000 kilometers away, Gyanendra made every call to the police, social activists, and administrations to push and rush them to the sight and saved a life.

For 14 long hours the couple worked relentlessly at every front possible despite not being present there physically. Things started moving when the local police understood urgency of the situation and rushed to spot.

The cops had to break in through the main door and they reached just when Shilpa was about to jump and hang herself. The rescue happened and now the woman is receiving both legal and mental assistance.

Words simply don’t do justice to such gracious act of selflessness.

It is extraordinary how Gyanendra and Monica did not leave any stones unturned to save Shilpa’s life. May their tribe increase.

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