Eve teasers have a ball at Trade Fair

Unfair deal

At the trade fair at Pragati Maidan this year, it seems that not only are traders and genuine shoppers enjoying themselves, but oglers, lechers and molesters are also having the time of their life.

Women visitors and volunteers are complaining that packs of boys and young men are roaming about the fair looking at opportunities to harass them.

Obviously, the 3000 strong Delhi Police force, private guards and CCTV cameras are proving to be no deterrent.

Ritika Bharti and Manisha Kain, two young women visitors here, were fleeing from three boys following them when this reporter almost ran into them! They informed Metrolife, “They started trailing us right from the time when we entered the fair. When we realised that they were just not leaving our side, we informed a guard at the Foreign Participants’ pavilion. The guard caught hold of one of the three and advised us to lodge an FIR.

However we didn’t, fearing more trouble. We are scared that they may follow us home.”
Trishita Jaluthria, a student who was at the fair with her friends, informed us, “At the ice-cream stand at Karnataka pavilion, I felt this middle-aged man feeling me up. Only after I shouted at him, did he back off and disappear into the crowd. I hardly expected this when I came here.”

The female volunteers employed by stall owners are going through worse. Jyotsna Shrivastav and Daljeet Kaur of Arvind Home Appliances mentioned that, “Teenage boys come in groups during the morning hours. They are in school uniforms and it is most obvious that they are bunking school to be here. They stare, pass comments and intentionally brush past us. Our guards have warned them so many times but they are just so brazen.”

Ayushi Sharma, a promoter at the Omron stall says, “They take pictures of us pretending to photograph the stall or its products. I myself have deleted six to seven of my pictures from the mobile phone of a boy, but nothing seems to help.”

Sanjana Rajput, an emcee at the Luminous stall adds, “Today morning, our podium was thrown off balance by a group of boys when I was demonstrating the use of a product. I have anchored for three years at the Auto Expo which is famous for eve-teasing of models. Trust me this is as bad if not worse.”

When Metrolife spoke to the DCP (Pragati Maidan) Mangesh Kashyap, about this issue, he said, “We have got no formal complaints or FIRs lodged in this regard, as women tend to ignore such miscreants; but I understand that such incidents could have taken place. Almost a lakh are visiting the fair everyday and it includes people of all kinds of mindsets and intentions. It is a sophisticated mela, but a mela nevertheless.”

Spokesperson, IITF, PC Sharma added, “Over the years, the ticket price at the fair has been revised continuously keeping in mind many factors including the quality of the crowd. However, it has failed to deter such elements from visiting. Now that it has been brought into our notice again, we’ll certainly see how to prevent such incidents in future.”

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