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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

In search of change

Navleen Lakhi , Hindustan Times   January 12, 2013
First Published: 11:23 IST(12/1/2013) | Last Updated: 11:27 IST(12/1/2013)

The recent horrific incident in the Capital made youngsters take to the streets, speak up against the system and raise the issue of women’s safety in our country. Be it deployment of more PCRs on roads, ban on tinted glasses of public transport or the hyped misogynist lyrics of the nation’s much-loved rapper inciting such incidents indirectly — let’s pause and brood over why, in the first place, are women of our country unsafe?

Who are these people who indulge in such heinous crimes and why? And how can we nip the problem in the bud?
On the eve of National Youth Day, Chandigarh University, Gharuan, organised a panel discussion, Evoke — Youth Summit, to discuss the topic Youth and Gender Sensitivity. The event saw panelists from
different fields take part. HT City brings to you the highlights.

Satinder Sartaj,
singer, composer, lyricist

“It’s important to bring about a change on the inside. We should all be taught to be good at heart, rather than on the outside. We should initiate a nationwide drive called ‘Aao Assi Change Baniye’ to initiate changes within ourselves, instead of waiting for the system to change. As far as lurid lyrics are concerned, I believe that till the time good,meaningful lyrics and songs take over Youtube, nothing can really change. The need of the hour is to stop giving importance to such lyrics and atristes.”

Ritesh Lakhi,
editor in chief,
PTC Channel

“Concrete solutions and suggestions on how to sensitise society against gender bias must be initiated, and all relevant authorities must be equally involved in these. We cannot attain what we have set out for till we all work in tandem. The youth should lead the way and identify the right concerns, such as caste-indicative words being prohibited altogether. The same goes for derogatory words used to describe women. Why can’t we prohibit the use of gender derogatory expletives?”

Naunihal Singh,
SSP, Chandigarh

“The way the Delhi gang rape has been taken up by the youth, and in turn highlighted by the media is admirable. Punjab’s youth is energetic, which is a good thing, as long as their efforts are directed towards a positive change. Also, youngsters these days don’t keep up with news; all they have time for is social networking! It’s ironic how we are discussing solutions to women-related problems and punishment for the accused after someone has gone through something so horrific. Why don’t we curb it before it starts?”

Prabhjot Singh,
hockey player

“Hardly anyone abides by the rules and regulations in our country. It’s easy to get away even with murder in our nation! Also, issues and matters catch the attention of the youth only for a short period of time. Something new comes along every now and then and their attention shifts. Even the government knows that these protests are momentary and would subside on their own. So, they don’t pay heed to them. Efforts by the youth have to be persistent to bring about a change. Youngsters need to make sure they are driving home the point.”

Sofi Zahoor,
director, HR,
Quark Industries

“Sensitisation of the youth is of utmost importance. It’s important to bring them up as leaders, while making sure they are informed about the society and its concerns. Even in the corporate world, the gender ratio is uneven; women representatives are very few. We want to see more women taking charge in the corporate world as well. We also have to bring about a change in the way women are represented in our society. They should not be seen as a weaker section of the society.”

Hargunjit Kaur,
joint secretary, Food &
Civil Supplies

“How many girls feel comfortable going to the police station, going to a garage to get their car washed or even going to a bank? Fear has become the governing factor of our lives. It’s very important for girls to speak out against this injustice. We are not really free in the true sense of the word. From property to financial rights and legal rights, girls should be aware of everything. They should be self-sufficient and should be able to deal with all kinds of situations themselves.”

Manpreet Ayali
MLA, Dakha

“The ratio of the people committing such crimes is very less. We have to understand the kind of people they are. I believe that it’s the section of the society that is not educated. As compared to villages, the ratio of such crimes in cities is more, maybe because people in metros are not social. They are not ready to help anyone and are not concerned about what is happening around them. I have also noticed that youngsters these days prefers to spend more time in closed room with the internet. It’s also very important to control and censor social media.”

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