Rapes and 'Us'

(Source: Times of India) :
NEW DELHI: In a new low for a city already notorious as India's rape capital, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was left battling for her life after being brutally beaten up and raped by at least five drunken men in a private bus which was audaciously driven around south Delhi localities on Sunday night even as the crime was being committed inside.
The unconscious victim and her male friend, who too was badly beaten, were stripped and thrown off near the Mahipalpur flyover on NH-8 after being assaulted for almost an hour. They were picked up around 9.15pm, a time when many Delhiites are still out in the city.
The woman is on ventilator support, doctors at Safdarjung Hospital said. On Monday, she underwent a four-hour surgery. Doctors said her intestines had ruptured and she had genital injuries. Her friend, a 27-year-old engineer who was preparing to take the civil services exam, however, helped the police in preparing sketches of the accused.

... and this my friends, is not it!!

Yesterday, I reached home before it was dark. Partly because I had finished my assigned task within time and partly because my Mom's words were echoing in my mind- 'Dhyaan se raha karo. Late ho to akele mat (office se) ghar jaaya karo. Mujhe to tumhari chinta hoti hai.' (Translation: 'You should take care. If you get late, don't leave office alone. I am really worried about your safety') She had seen the news and like any parent was expressing her concern.

I was in a public transport vehicle today with 7-8 other people in it. The thought struck me... What if all these people knew each other and were a part of a larger gang that was conspiring against me? What if the driver did not stop when I ask him to, on reaching my destination. What if the females were also a part of the gang. Thankfully, nothing happened! The evil thoughts vanished into thin air atleast for the day! I was soon home and within hours tightly tugged in my blanket. Touchwood!

We, the girls live with such thoughts everyday of our lives. I cannot suggest Delhi/NCR to my sister as a city to live in and work as an independent female. Right from day one, our parents teach us to be independent. Then all of a sudden a horrendous incident leads the same people to tell us to be accompanied (read dependent) by a male almost always. And you really think it's possible and would help?

Recently, an officer from administrative services in Gurgaon had given a statement that girls in the city should avoid staying out after 7 to avoid hassles for themselves! The concern would have been appreciated had he amended the words 'we'll work to get the law and order in place to ensure safely for all' but unfortunately that looks like a dream from where we stand today.

To stop stepping out in dark is not an option because we have to do that to sustain. A male companion might not always be strong enough to fight odds. A group of male friends cannot be trusted; we have heard of cases were known people have indulged in shameful acts. Covering up is not a solution either because the eyes of 'animals' can scan through layers. But since nobody can think of a better solution and the only argument they have is 'prevention is better than cure', we the girls will continue to follow the myths that commuting in large groups, with male friends, all covered up and during day light is 'safe'.

Definitely installing the safety apps and will share the review soon!

People left-right-center are talking about the incidence.... on the lunch table, over coffee, in meetings, with family. Anger and concern are the emotions that are common to all. Some suggest capital punishment for the  rapists, some say stone them to death. The decision lies in the hands of the authority. The announcement of fast-track courts for rape cases looks like a good step ahead. Hope justice wins the battle.

Before I sign off, I have a question to ask. Almost every parent, concerned adult or friend must have told some or the other girl to take safety measures... but how many of us have told a boy to be within his limits and to respect the independence of the opposite sex? If not... It's time to teach the boys! For a better tomorrow!

God Bless!


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