B'luru doesn't care about Northeast women: Study

Women venturing out from the ‘Seven Sister’ states of the Northeast to metropolitan cities yearning for a better life have been facing rampant discrimination at the hands of their fellow Indians. And, Namma Bengaluru is no exception. File photo for representation only

Women venturing out from the ‘Seven Sister’ states of the Northeast to metropolitan cities yearning for a better life have been facing rampant discrimination at the hands of their fellow Indians. And, Namma Bengaluru is no exception.

A recent research by scholars in the city on the harrowing experiences of discrimination and challenges faced by Northeast women who are living in Bengaluru reveals that most of them are subjected to abuse and harassment with less or no support and assistance by Bengalureans at the time of crisis.

Due to this, the women have reported depression, fear and other mental disorders.

The research was carried out by Roshni Chhetri from Jain (Deemed to be University) supported by Smitha Baboo, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, School of Business Studies and Social Sciences, CHRIST (Deemed to be University). They interviewed women from various Northeastern states living in the city and identified the causes and results of discrimination.

Their “appearance” is one of the sole reasons for discrimination, said Roshni. “They face a lot of prejudice for the way they look. These women said in an interview that they are being abused and called names for their appearance- as they bear facial features similar to that of Tibetans and Mongolians. They are being differentiated even for the way they dress up, over their culture and their lifestyle,” she said.

They are being discriminated and looked down upon by the locals with whom they regularly interact in public places such as autorickshaws, cabs, buses, also by food delivery boys, landlords etc.

It is no less in other public places like restaurants, malls, bus stops, hospitals, government offices, colleges and so on, according to the researchers.

“They feel that people from other regions are preferred over people from the Northeast while renting out houses, filling job vacancies and while granting other opportunities. They are eve-teased a lot too. One of the participants in my research said that she received a death threat from a cab driver for cancelling her ride. Such is the state of these women in the city,” Chhetri added.

“But these women are trying to cope with the discrimination. While many have remained strong, a few have turned weak mentally. Initiatives need to be taken to organise seminars, workshops and awareness programs which focus on promoting multicultural diversity. It should begin from primary classes. Developing effective coping strategies and techniques for severe victims of discrimination is another step,” said Roshni.

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B'luru doesn't care about Northeast women: Study

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