India rape victim's family wants hospital in her village

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Story highlights

  • A new hospital would keep the victim's memory alive and serve a purpose, her brother says
  • He describes his sister as "cheerful" but says she scolded him if he neglected schoolwork
  • India needs tougher laws on rape, the brother says

The family of an Indian woman who died after a savage gang rape would like to see a new hospital, named after her, to keep her memory alive.

Her brother told CNN by phone from eastern India on Sunday that the family's home village, located in a backward region, still doesn't have a well-equipped health care center.

"It will be really good if our village gets a hospital in her name. That will keep her memory alive and serve a cause," said the 20-year-old, who asked not to be named.

The young man referred to the victim as "Didi" -- Hindi for elder sister.

"Didi loved watching movies," he said.

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"Talaash," meaning "search" in Hindi and Urdu, was the last Bollywood film they saw together, on a laptop in New Delhi.

The rape victim was the eldest of three siblings, with two younger brothers. A physiotherapy student, she was expecting an internship at a hospital in the Indian capital in January.

"After her internship, she would have got a job. And that would have been a great help to our family," said the brother, himself a student.

He described his sister as both soft and stern.

"Didi was cheerful. But she would also scold me if I didn't score well in exams. She would correct me if I made any mistakes in studies," the brother recounted.

The family was still struggling with the traumatic loss, he said.

"My mother is trying to normalize. But my father often breaks down. Her memories haunt us. It's more difficult at night," he said.

The family also regrets that help came too late when the victim was lying injured along a street after the vicious sexual assault on her on the night of December 16.

"That's the problem in our country. People don't come up quickly to help the injured people or accident victims. Mindsets have to change," said the victim's brother.

Nonetheless, he felt the protests that the attack sparked were justified.

"You need these protests to bring about a change in laws. And laws should be made so tough that nobody should even think of committing such crimes. Rapists deserve death sentence," he said.