Mourning Delhi neighbourhood remembers its darling

FP

Most young people in the lower middle class neighbourhood of south-west Delhi where the gangrape victim lived have been scolded at least once by parents who wanted them to be more like her.

"Look at her and learn from her. Look how well she studies, aspire to be like her," had been the typical refrain. On Saturday night, residents of the area said the young woman who had died in a Singapore hospital earlier in the day had been a role model for many.

"The entire neigbhourhood was proud of her. She was the only person who was studying medicine here. Her grit and determination were insurmountable. We were used to seeing the light in her room burn late into the night, and then come on early as she stayed up late and woke up early to study," said a childhood friend of the woman.

The neighbourhood has been in shock even since the horrifying incident occurred two weeks ago. Her father does a small job at the airport, and she was a friend and guide to her two younger brothers, people in the neighbourhood said.

"She was a mentor and teacher for her brothers. They would always follow her advice and do whatever she said. She believed only education could help people shape their future," the friend said. She had high family values, the friend said.

At school, she had been an all-rounder. "She was good at studies, had a beautiful handwriting, she could paint and draw very well. In fact, our tuition teacher would seek her help for drawings. She even helped her seniors with their assignments," the friend said. Her room was filled with books and her handwritten notes, she added.

"If she scored less in any subject she would get very upset. Sometimes when we studied together and I would fall asleep, and she would gently coax me to wake up and keep studying," the friend said.

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