The deceased victim’s mother received the ‘Rani Lakshmibai Award’ from President Pranab Mukherjee

“Awards and recognitions for my daughter and what she has come to represent fills my heart with the hope that violence against girls and women will see a rapid decline in the country,” said the father of the December 16 gang rape victim at a function at Vigyan Bhavan here on Friday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the national Stree Shakti Puraskar 2012 award ceremony, where his deceased daughter was honoured with the ‘Rani Lakshmibai Award’, he said, “While there are enough laws in the country to ensure that women are protected, there has to be effective implementation of these laws and enough personnel to ensure efficiency.”

The award presented by the President Pranab Mukherjee was received by the deceased victim’s mother.

Five other distinguished women – Ms. Pranita Talukdar (Assam), Ms. Sonika Agarwal (Delhi), Ms. Guramma H. Sankina (Karnataka), Ms. Omana T.K. (Kerala) and Ms. Olga D’mello (Maharashtra) — were given awards.

The victim’s father momentarily lost his composure after the ceremony was over and holding his elder son’s hand said, “Sadly, awards and money cannot bring my child back. I miss her every minute. My heart burns, I am unable to close my eyes and rest… we welcome and thank the nation for standing with us in this moment of grief. We are simple people and our demand is simple. Hang the men — even the juvenile — who tortured and killed my young daughter in this horrible manner.”

While his son nodded in agreement, the victim’s mother refused to speak.

In his address on the occasion, the President, recalling the December 16 incident and spontaneous outpour of the general public, said, “We should not allow this death to go in vain and should work towards ensuring that such incidents never happen again in India.”

“We have to work towards bringing in reforms in the police and judiciary to ensure a just society where there is justice for women,” he added.

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