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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

'We are living in an extremely violent society'

Vandana Gupta, Hindustan Times   January 31, 2013
First Published: 23:30 IST(31/1/2013) | Last Updated: 23:32 IST(31/1/2013)

During my school years, I was taught that education and empowerment of the girl child can pave the way for a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful society.

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It was only once I started pursuing further studies that I realised it was a big fat lie.

I have taught self-defence to countless survivors. I have noticed that rapists, stalkers and batterers are all the same - delusional bullies imposing their 'self entitlement' on victims and all of them often commit all the three offences at one time or the other.

Women safety includes protection from rape, date rapes, stalking as well as domestic violence. The sad reality is that we live in an increasingly violent society in which the fear of crime is ever present. In such volatile times, personal safety has become an issue of importance for everyone - especially for women.

To narrate an incident, I was once returning home in a rickshaw with a friend when some men on a bike snatched my friend's purse and ran away. We shouted for help but no one paid heed to us. We complained to the police but no one bothered.

Just a few days ago, my cousin's gold chain was snatched at around 6pm in the very heart of Indirapuram even as a police van was posted nearby. It seems as if all these incidents take place with the police's permission.

These incidents have forced me not to venture out in rickshaws. I prefer to go out only when accompanied by some family member. There are so many non-functional streetlights and so many dark stretches that women cannot just think of stepping out after sunset.

Although Indirapuram is one of the best areas in terms of civic amenities, it fares poorly when it comes to women security.

Women are extremely insecure and there's a constant fear in their minds which keep them awake at night, numbing them to happiness.

The police should ideally start a strategic decision-making process by first analysing the specific problems women are confronting and then using the results to security plans.

Certain problems have been voiced so many times by so many people that if the cops were to consider them while making strategies, a lot of problems would be resolved.

I am eagerly waiting for that day when women in India would be able to walk on the streets alone at night without a care in the world.

(The writer is a resident of Indirapuram)


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