Fed up with official apathy to curb growing incidents of rape and abduction, a group of girls have joined hands to fight for the cause of women’s security, albeit in a unique way.
Under the banner ‘Gurgaon Girlcott’, from April 13 to April 15, women in Gurgaon have decided not to splurge on shopping, eating out, visiting salons and indulging in other expenditures that benefit the private sector in Gurgaon.
The aim is basically to put the onus on private merchandisers and mall-owners — a community that can influence the city administration — to raise the issue of women’s security.
The idea to lodge a soft and different protest cropped up through the social media a few days ago. Soon, the word spread among city-based women professionals. Official apathy to solve incidents of crime against women seemed to strengthen their determination.
Communication consultant Richa Dubey, who floated the ‘Gurgaon Girlcott’ group on Facebook, claimed she had received a good response from women of all age groups from across the National Capital Region (NCR). “If we get a sizeable participation in Girlcott, private businesses will be affected. This will compel businessmen to exert pressure on the otherwise apathetical police force to ensure safety of women in the city,” said Dubey.
Responses have also come in from theatre group Asmita, NGO Let’s Walk Gurgaon and amateur music group Gurgaon Drum Circle.
A protest has been planned at the Galleria Market on the evening of April 13.
“We expect more support from groups such as Jagori and given the permission from the authorities, singer Rabbi Shergill is also likely to perform on April 13,” added Dubey.
Sehba Imam of the Let’s Walk Gurgaon said though the protest will be small-scale, it would, to some extent, push the police and administration to think about women’s safety.
“We have been keeping tabs on troubled spots in the city ever since the gangrape of a 28-year-old pub worker last month. Such protests are symbolic,” said Maheshwar Dayal, Gurgaon DCP (crime).
The Girlcott move, however, has not gone down well with the mall-owners.
“Crime against women and subsequent protests has already affected footfalls in malls on MG Road and other malls.
It’s for the police to take action and we can’t interfere in their duties,” said BR Wassan, president of the MGF Metropolitan Mall Occupants Association.