You’ll hardly come across a woman who says she has not been harassed in some way. In fact, so notorious is Delhi for being unsafe that it has been named the Rape Capital/Shame Capital.
While the horrifying episode of December 16 continues to haunt us, every date is a struggle for women who are sexually harassed and often remain unheard. Not one date, but several dates and multiple accounts echo only one thing — there still remains a lot to be done. Here are few unheard accounts that reiterate the fact that a change in ­mindset, stronger safety ­measures and better laws are the needs of the hour.
5 JAN 2014
Pooja, housekeeper: Ek bureau service mujhe Delhi laayi aur unhone mujhe South Delhi ke ek ghar pe naukri dilwayi. Wahan thode din baad, sahab mere room mein aaye aur mujhe bola ki wo mujhe paise denge agar mein unhe apne saath sone dun. Jab maine manna kara, to unhone mere saath zabardasti ki, magar main kisi tarah wahan se bhaag nikli.
13 MAY 2014
Neha, online professional: My parents don’t want their daughters to work, but I have taken up a job and I commute through the DTC bus daily. In a full packed bus one morning, a middle aged man stood uncomfortably close to me. Suddenly, something thrust my bottom, and as I turned, I saw that this man had poked me and his zip was down in full public view. Utterly horrified, I pushed him back and shouted for help, which the conductor provided by throwing the man out of the bus. I haven’t told my parents about this incident because they’ll only reprimand me.
18 MAY 2014
Priyanka Mathur, homemaker: After four months of my marriage, my mother-in-law died, and because of that, I became a victim of sexual abuse. My father-in-law, instead of mourning the death of his wife, started passing lewd remarks to me and often found excuses to touch me. I tried to maintain distance from him, but it was impossible to ignore his eyes on me. His advances got bolder and I told my ­husband about it. But he sided with his father and assaulted me. Thankfully, my family helped me come out of that house.
25 SEP 2014
Shipra Malhotra, customer care service agent: I was late from work and boarded the Violet line at 11 o’clock on this night. In order to catch the train, I boarded the general compartment, which was empty. I had just put my headphones when a man came and stood immediately in front of me. Before I could say anything, he tried to cover my mouth with his hand and pushed himself on me. I tried to push and punch him, but his grip was very strong and he almost tore my clothes. The Metro stopped, and anticipating danger, this man slapped me hard, got off and ran away.
25 OCT 2014
Swati, Sports management professional: It was a usual day of returning from work to Noida Sector 36. I stopped at a corner shop to pick up something. It was then that two men on a bike started staring strangely at me, and I shot back at them. As I hopped back on my ride, I discovered that I was being followed. They stopped the cycle ­rickshaw in its tracks and started shouting abuses at my “audacity to glare”, and nabbed me by my T-shirt before dragging me. Sitting at the top cop’s office in Noida in the hope of finding justice, proved futile.
EVENTS: A bus ride, a freeze mob and more
Today, the whole city will be filled with events that are a reminder of the horrific December 16, 2012 episode. A bus ride organised at 4pm from Dwarka to Central Delhi by NGOs Justice Seekers, Centre for Social Research and ANHAD aims to highlight the lack of women’s security in the city.
In addition, a mega freeze mob organised by Education Tree at Connaught Place, starting in front of gate number 1, Palika Bazaar, at 4pm, aims to drive home the message.
Expect some major protest rallies at Jantar Mantar and India Gate, with slogans and street play performances.
A petition on women’s ­safety will also be sent to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.