NGO flooded with calls from women, students
Concerned about their own safety after a 30-year-old BPO employee from Mizoram was abducted and raped on November 21, a Delhi-based NGO is getting frantic calls from women students and executives of northeast-Indian origin.
"Despite not having made any effort to reach out to them, we have been getting several calls from women students and executives of northeast Indian origin on a daily basis after the recent rape case. The callers are concerned with various forms of gender violence that they encounter on a daily basis," said Dr. Rajat Mitra, director, Swarnchetan, an NGO that counsels both victims and perpetrators of crime.
Dr Mitra said the callers, most of who fall in the age group of 22 to 25, are worried about their safety and sought guidance in dealing with everyday safety issues due to the absence of an adequate security infrastructure in the city.
"The city has a sizable population of people from northeast India. The number has grown over a decade but the city remains unsafe for them. Even after they have come to occupy positions in various walks of public life, the city still alienates them and views them as outsiders. The callers seek help in dealing with this alienation," Dr Mitra added.
Since the beginning of this year itself, the Capital has seen 15 cases of violence against women from northeast India while in the last eight years three sensational cases of abduction and subsequent rape of women of
northeast Indian origin have come to light.
"Whether it be at their workplaces or at academic institutions, persons hailing from northeast India, especially women, have a different level of threat perception vis-a-vis the threat perception level of a person born and brought up in Delhi. But consecutive police regimes have failed to check crime against them or in sensitising the city," Dr. Mitra said.
He said the answer lay in sensitising the city and especially the police from the grassroots level upwards.
"The answer is sensitising the public at large and not increasing police presence in the streets," Dr. Mitra added.
Those attending the calls said callers were asked about the exact nature of their predicament and that each caller was given guidance accordingly.
"We ask them to spend more time with their friends and embrace their individuality instead of allowing their environment to push them into paranoia," said a psychologist who has dealt with such calls.