Desperate situations demand desperate measures. So would it seem going by the rising number of eve-teasing incidents, and the way some of the city girls are countering the menace.
Gone are the days when they would ignore obscene remarks or bear the insult quietly.
The gen-next women like late-night partying, and they are well equipped to have their way.
Reena Shah, studying in Government College for Girls, Sector 11 Chandigarh, carries a 'stungun', a weapon that momentarily disables a person with an electric shock. She said, "One day while returning home from my college some boys in a car tried teasing me and made some dirty remarks."
From that very day she has been carrying this weapon.
Reena said that the last year a popular TV channel group distributed packets of chilli powder to girls outside her college for the promotion of their show 'Gunahon ka Devta'.
"Since then many girls in her college carry chilli powder with them," she said.
In fact, many girls Hindustan Times spoke to said they were using various products to ensure their safety. Pepper spray, Swiss knives, chilli powder, needles, steel batons (a short thin stick) and deodorants are some of the 'weapons' that are gaining popularity among the college-going girls.
Martial art is also increasingly becoming popular among the teenagers. Said Drasika Bhutani, the 12-year-old student at Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh, "I took up martial art in school as a hobby, but now it has become my passion. In fact, there are around 40 girls in my class, and most of us can defend ourselves."
Her mother Ruhi Bhutani said that sometimes her daughter had to travel alone out of the city. "She has been learning this art since she was 10. We don't worry that much now as her skills give us some assurance."
Her cousin Tvesa Bhutani, who recently returned from Bhopal after winning Subroto Football Cup, said all 16 girls in her group carried Swiss knives.
"Being a girl we have to ensure our own safety. Swiss knives are easily available in the market, and they are handy," said Tvesa.
Even parents nowadays are waking up to the harsh reality, and are encouraging their daughters to learn martial arts, judo or karate.
Vikram Thapa, director, Choi Kwang Do, a martial art school of education in Panchkula, said, "I have been teaching this art for the last 22 years. I have around 200 students in my institute and 40% of them are girls."
Smiti Walia, a mass communication student in Panjab University, said, "I carry a deodorant. If need be I will spray that in the eve- teaser's eyes."