A safer space for women

The Rotary Club of Bangalore recently held a panel discussion on ‘How can we make Bangalore a safer city for women?’ at the Rotary House of Friendship.

As part of celebrating women this entire month, the club hosted the discussion that saw different panelists, including theatre professional Prakash Belawadi, former City police commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji, radio jockey Cindu Chandrasekaran, medical practitioner Dr Meenakshi Bharath and Rotarian Dr Sameer Hariani amongst others.
While the safety of women continues to be a widely discussed topic, the panelists expressed different points about the possible reasons as to why these attacks happen against women and what can be done to prevent them.

After the panelists voiced their opinion, there was an open discussion and a few questions and answers were taken on the different points discussed. While one of the panelists voiced that there was a need for respect to be instilled from home for such instances to be avoided and for women to dress appropriately, another said that women should be allowed to wear whatever they want to.

Others raised points like how most women suffer sexual abuse from their own families and how they should have the courage to talk about it openly.

   Talking about other issues that might be, triggering unwanted incidents towards women, panelist Kathryn Kylie who runs an NGO for women, said that separate seating arrangements for boys and girls, in schools could send out a wrong message.
   “This could mean that young boys are not supposed to interact with young girls. Also, whenever a youngster asks questions, we try to hush it up. It’s time we started talking about uncomfortable things too,” said Kathryn.

Sharing his perspective, former Bangalore City police commissioner, Jyothi Prakash Mirji agreed that the City has lesser police force than required and that it needs more technological equipment like more CCTV cameras to deter crimes.

“Bangaloreans also need to realise that police cannot be everywhere and that people should take care of themselves. Women should avoid dark and shady stretches, so that they do not fall prey to such incidents,” he said.

Rotarian President Purnima Ranganath said that she was glad that this discussion was a success.

“The event was my idea and the club members and I would be extremely happy
if this discussion would help better at least one woman’s life. This event was held to
emphasise the need for a change in the mindset towards women and give them the due credit that they deserve,” she said.

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