World’s largest democracy waits anxiously for Friday sentencing

By September 12, 2013

India (MNN) — Delhi, India grabbed international headlines last year when six men viciously raped a college student and left her for dead.

Candle Light march on 22 Dec, 2012. (Image courtesy Soumyaroop Chatterjee via Flickr)

Candle Light march on 22 Dec, 2012. (Image courtesy Soumyaroop Chatterjee via Flickr)

On December 16, 2012, a 23-year old physiotherapy student boarded a bus with her male friend after watching a movie at a New Delhi mall. That’s when their “ride of horror” began.

According to police, six men beat up the male friend and dragged the young woman to the back of the bus. As the bus drove around for an hour, these men took turns raping the woman and inserting a metal rod into her body. When finished, they dumped the pair onto the side of a road to die.

The woman’s injuries were so severe that some of her organs had to be removed. She died December 29, 2012 at a Singapore hospital.

“It’s a brutal case that’s brought a lot of attention to a big problem in India,” says CH Dyer, President and CEO of Bright Hope International.

Four of the six men suspected in this crime have been convicted and now await a sentence. Dyer says the case is opening eyes to a jarring reality.

“All these things have brought a great sensitivity to the topic and a desire for the courts and the police to do something about it,” states Dyer. “It’s something that everybody’s concerned about and there’s great awareness now, even with local cases.”

On January 4, the BBC’s Geeta Pandey revealed the commonality of horrific abuse against women in India.

“On most days, Indian newspapers report shocking new atrocities: a 10-month-old raped by a neighbor in Delhi; an 18-month-old raped and abandoned in the streets in Calcutta; a 14-year-old raped and murdered in a police station in Uttar Pradesh; a husband facilitating his own wife’s gang rape in Howrah,” she wrote.

“But in a country where a rape is reported every 21 minutes, even these most horrific of crimes soon get forgotten.”

Dyer says the tide has begun to turn.

“At first, we had resistance from authorities. We had a lot of people saying this can’t be done,” he states.

Now, officials are working alongside Bright Hope and more people are asking how they can help.

“People are starting to recognize it and not work against us, but work with us.”

And, abused women are gaining courage.

“There was a young girl who came forward and said, ‘My father’s been raping me, my brother’s been raping me’ and that caused national attention to come to her,” recalls Dyer. “She’s actually now in our safe house.”

Through Bright Hope’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program, lives are being saved.

“To see the hope; to hear about how they want to go on and be beauticians or airline stewardesses…it’s just a heart-warming touch of Christ’s love being practically woven into these young girls’ hearts,” says Dyer.

There’s an easy way to get involved.

“If right now, people could just pray; the girls in this house actually have been feeling just attacked, spiritually,” asks Dyer. You can also click on the link above to learn more about Bright Hope’s work.

Pray spiritual healing and protection for rescued girls. Ask the Lord to give them new visions for their future.

The four men convicted of this crime — Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh — range from 19 to 28 years old. Each hails from a poverty-ridden slum on the outskirts of New Delhi, and the public is calling for each man’s death as penalty.

According to CNN, Judge Yogesh Khanna said he would hand down his sentence tomorrow afternoon.

Pray for justice. Pray also for God’s will to be done.

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