Home Site Map
Writings Home Page

Unsafe in the City

Lets do whatever it takes to make our city safe for women.

Dr Nitin Pandey
A 16yr old girl going home after tuition was chased and surrounded by men on three motorcycles on the roads of Dehra Dun last week. Showing presence of mind, the girl ran into a friend’s house and was saved, but things could have ended more tragically. This incident should make well meaning Doonites sit up. The sight of girls being teased on roads, of girls on Scooty being chased by horn honking youngsters on bikes in broad daylight have become all too common on the roads of our city. Are we waiting for disaster to strike before we wake up? Dehra Dun was once upon a time, not so long ago, one of the safest cities in India for girls.

Generally eve teasers are late teenagers or young adults, who do it for “fun” or who actually believe that most love affairs start with eve teasing. Middle aged middle class men and petty criminals also indulge in eve teasing when they think they can get away with it, as in crowds or buses.

Potential eve teasers will never indulge in eve teasing when they realize that they cannot get away with it. Therefore prominently deploying PCR vans and policemen on motorcycles during rush hours and during dusk can not only control eve teasing but general crime as well, which has witnessed an upturn in recent weeks. The recently started EMRV 108 helpline should also accept calls about eve teasing and other violence against women and direct the nearest PCR Van to reach the spot as soon as possible. Billboards at vantage points with one simple message “Eve teasing is not a joke… it can land you in jail” could have a deterrent value. “Call 108 if you are in trouble”, could also be advertised on these bill boards.

Empowering girls to physically defend themselves is an essential step. Therefore girls, especially from the underprivileged sections of our society should be given training in self defense. In Delhi, women constables of Delhi Police impart such training to girls. Training is given in the form of 3hrly daily lessons for one week free of cost and a certificate issued at the end. Uttarakhand Police could also give such lessons to girls in Government schools first and private schools thereafter.

NGO’s can also be involved in giving such training. Besides they can also be involved in sensitizing boys in schools and colleges about gender equality and through the medium of skits and role playing make boys aware of the pain girls go through on being eve teased.

Eve teasers should be caught at all costs. However the present penalty of Rs 500/- or one year imprisonment is not effective. First timers could be made to compulsorily do community work like cleaning public toilets or roads for two or three days and attend sensitization sessions with NGO’s working for gender equality. Repeat eve teasers should be fined atleast Rs 5000/- and sent to jail.

Just over a fortnight ago on the 22nd August a 20yr old MA student in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, burnt herself because she could not bear being eve teased. Are we waiting for such a tragedy to jolt us out of our slumber? It is time to act now!

Get Updates Get SMS Updates
Add to Google Receive SMS Updates

Please comment on the article

Your Name:
Your E mail:

Abusive, inappropriate or offensive comments are likely to be edited or deleted.

Read comments

From: Your article petclfrey shows what I needed to know, thanks!
Your article petclfrey shows what I needed to know, thanks!

From: Morpheus
I am quite shocked to read that Doon has changed so much. I remember zipping around on my kinetic without a care. Eve teasing is a polite word, the correct term is sexual harassment and thats the first step, call it by its actual name. No one wants to be 'eve'. Naming and shaming such people, by women being brave enough to stop and take a photo of the men with a mobile ph and posting it somewhere could be a shock tactic. This being an option only if its safe for them to do so. Respect for women, is something which is lacking in North India. Such problems are not so common in Southern India. Why, I dont quite know. But working towards respect, and solving the problem might be an idea. Women lead NGOs in the region, should be contacted, there are some famous ones around.