Tag: Society

Let’s wake up!

The recent heinous incident of rape in Delhi, where the girl is still battling for life with infections in intestine, has caused a mass outrage among public and for a change, supposedly in politicians too.

There has been cries for severe punishment of the convicts, which I (and everyone) perfectly agree with. Castration? Would not befit the crime! Death Penalty? Yes. Life imprisonment? Yes, as long as its till the “life” of the criminals. All I know, is there has to be a severe punishment with a special fast track court to pass on that judgement. It should not get lost in the ultra-slow legal process of our country, because, that in my opinion, dilutes the idea of judgement.
The punishment, how severe, will not “undo” the crime, but it will show that as a society, as a nation, we will not let the convicts enjoy a simple or rigorous imprisonment for a few years, and then again join us back in the free. We have to set an example. Public lynching is not the answer, since we are a civilized society. Nonetheless, it should not mean that we’ll go soft on the punishment for these deranged psychopaths. 

We fail as a collective, as a society in protecting women. Time and again, I see and hear incidents, where people were just dumb and mute spectators to acts of eve-teasing. 

By asking women to not venture out after sunset, is letting them know, that we are not responsible for your safety. I feel, it’s a statement of accepting failure to provide a safe and secure environment, and more than that, it’s a statement to let women know that, we’re not even concerned about you, cowering down to the criminals in our society.

Once, I was traveling alone in Delhi metro in somewhat crowded metro, when I hear two people talking about, why there is need for a reserved coach for women. How it is empty. Why can’t we enter it when it’s empty and all? They did not actually enter. But, what got me thinking about this that time was, about their mentality, that there’s no need for a reserved coach. That they were even thinking why not enter it? They were thinking, some actual do it, and some of those some, actually eve-tease or try to physically assault. Don’t deny this, as this happens a lot. If you would have noticed, there are always people who try to somehow “touch” a female, either during standing, or their best chance comes while boarding/de-boarding, esp at a crowded station.

Today, I read in the newspaper that, when the rape victim was dumped with her friend, there was a crowd onlooking, but not even a single soul out of that crowd had the decency to hand them a piece of cloth to cover them up. A crowd is always there just for tamasha in India. They seldom help, they seldom show signs of empathy

Let’s make this recent case a starting point for having better and stricter laws, having special fast track courts, more policing on our roads and streets. Let’s expect the police to gear up and be more aggressive and for the God’s sake. Let’s not crib when the police stops our bus or car or private vehicle for a checking at a check post. We, as concerned citizens of the society have to “help” as much as we can. We have to be alert. We have to understand that tinted glasses in the vehicles is a security concern. Maybe you want comfort from the sun outside, and you argue that I am not a criminal, and I am and will not do anything illegal. But, if it would have been that simple to figure out who is and who is not a criminal, then this matter would not have come up. Please, help police in ensuring the safety. Don’t be a crybaby for tinted glass, for checking (doesn’t matter how many times), don’t show your displeasure over not having curtains in the buses. All, if you are really concerned, and not just trying to show your fake concern over social networking sites. After all, it’s someone from our society who commits such crimes.!

Swechha

After thinking, discussing, deliberating for almost two years over the fact that I should somehow contribute to the society by joining some NGO, I took the first step today and visited the Malviya Nagar office of Swechha. I and 6 of my colleagues were hosted there by Amrita Anand, who has been associated with Sweccha for more than an year now. I and the 4 of us were grouped for this sessions by Abhinandan, who had participated in the recent Flash Mob for Please Mend the Gap, which is an initiative for promoting gender equality in public space.

Amrita took us through the history of Swechha, the different programs it runs, the partnerships and related things in quite detail. We signed up a one pager form for one of their intiatives, Pagdandi, a volunteer based program to supplement education in children from marginalized society (resettlement and slum colonies).

Amrita then asked us to join for an evening session, where the children from nearby Jagdamba camp, were going to be told about “Right to Information” and then was to be play-acted. This was to be followed by a Karate class by one of the volunteers. We reached the park and there were around 40-50 kids and 5 volunteers. We were told that some of the kids have gone back to their villages so the number was expected to be around 50.

The Children were first told about Right to Information What it is, how and where to use it, why is it needed. They were then split in small groups of 5 each and all volunteers were assigned a group. Some of the groups were more than 5 too. The volunteers were asked to think of situations where the children could use the RTI, and then the same had to enacted. We sat with the kids and then thought of situations, roles and then practiced. After that, they were supposed to enact their acts before all groups, but time did not permit every group to do so. I reckon that they are supposed to perform at a festival next week (as far as I remember).

The Karate class followed that, and we witnessed that too. Half way in that, we left.

What I observed during all this is – the string sense of determination you need to be part of such activities. Believe me, children can be very very tough to manage. You can’t a group of 40-50 odd kids to listen to you, to maintain decorum. Never, period. I noticed that the volunteers (who have been part of this from long) had a lot of determination and cool. It’s not that I felt loosing my cool, but I felt loosing my determination in keeping the kids at one place, in asking to sit, in trying to have their attention and a lot more. At a time, I felt that I don’t have that much determination to be able to conduct such workshops/activities. May be all of the current volunteers started like me, but I don’t know that as of this moment.

Another interesting thing and a really good thing, was seeing how much determined Amrita was towards this cause and her job. She was speaking back at the office how she and others at her office are going to try to go to each household in Jagdamba camp, and check that they are accounting for all children there. When we were going to the park, where the activities were supposed to take place, I noticed that at two instances she stopped the car, when she spotted some kids, whom she knew, and where from the camp. Now that is what is called honest determination towards your duty. Not boasting her in any ways, but seriously hats off Amrita for the great work you’re doing. Keep it up! I’ll try to help in any possible way I can.