Assam youth offer free ride to stranded woman, authorities sceptical of idea
Authorities in Assam have red flagged an idea by good Samaritans to offer free rides to stranded woman in the wake of the gruesome gang rape and murder of a Hyderabad veterinarian last week and said, if misused by bad elements, the idea could easily end up putting woman in danger instead of securing their safety.
The idea was floated by a 24-year old Digboi youth Nayan Chamuah who along with his friends posted their phone numbers on facebook offering rides home to stranded woman in the town, which lacks cab services like the Ola and the Uber.
“You can call on any of these numbers. If one is not available, the other can help. We cannot change the mindset of rapist, all we can do is change ours,” posted Chamuah, also known as Neer Nayan, an employee with a petroleum company who also runs a music school.
Chamuah, whose father is a retired Army man and mother involved with a local women group, says the idea came while thinking about the safety of his younger sister, a university student.
While Chamuah and his friends have not been approached by any woman seeking ride home, the idea has got immensely popular with over 2 thousand people liking it and it being shared over 800 times, prompting several other youths to make similar offers of help through their Facebook pages.
A 22-year old railway apprentice in Tripura’s Agartala claimed to have already helped one woman on Sunday after she responded to his facebook post.
Some of the several youths in Lakhimpur, Tezpur and Tinsukia, HT spoke to, don’t have even driving licenses but genuinely want to help.
“I have a scooter and would be able to offer free rides to women in Lakhimpur till 9 pm. We are in the process of discussing how to implement the idea better with the district administration,” said Dimpi Pareek, a commerce student.
While the intention may be noble, authorities feel the idea may be misused by miscreants landing girls in trouble instead.
“The move can easily be misused. If the authorities have not given permission to these youths, it would be wrong to start such an initiative and those seeking help could also land in trouble,” said Chikimiki Talukdar, chairperson of Assam State Commission for Women.
Kumar Sanjit Krishna, superintendent of police Sonitpur district, said women should be very careful before taking help from such persons.
(With input from Priyanka Deb Barman in Agartala)