LOCAL inspirational author Amitesh Deo has suggested for a day of national prayer for a young girl battling against cancer who was raped by her father.
Mr Deo said the recent news about the rape and abuse by the father was perhaps one of the most sickening yet sad cases one could ever come across.
"While we welcome the 17-year sentence for the culprit, we are extremely concerned at the degree and length of reported abuse by parents and family members of our children," he said.
"This case is particularly sad due to the medical condition of the victim.
"She suffered abuse and rape in the hands of her father for six years only to find herself confronted with another battle, cancer, which many of us dread to even think about."
Mr Deo said it was painful to even imagine the situation that the young girl had been through.
"Religious leaders all around the country need to play a much more active role when it comes to protecting children.
"The upcoming Holi festival and Easter might be an opportune time to start preaching about issues that really matter and child abuse is real."
Mr Deo said it was high time that issues of importance replace the raucous songs of religious practice.