When safety is at stake

When safety is at stake
The latest incident of a few women being molested on New Year’s eve, in the heart of the city, has left most women shocked. They say they feel unsafe and confess that they have lost faith in the authorities. The only way out, believe some of them, is to take precautions on their own whenever they decide to venture out into public places.

What has also shocked people is the callous attitude of the police and the government officials towards the entire incident. Kalpana  Sharma, a professional, feels while the city ‘appears to be safe’ with its fair share of women working and travelling during odd hours or going to pubs and discotheques late at night, atrocities against women continue unabated. “What we saw on the streets on New Year’s eve was shameful, to say the least. Why should women be afraid of venturing out in the night? What one chooses to wear is an individual’s choice and I don’t think anyone else should have a say in that. Women must feel safe to walk around the city at any time of the day or night,” explains Kalpana. She also feels that it’s high time the authorities in the city did their bit to win the confidence of the people.

“The Bengaluru City Police must be more approachable and receptive to the problems of the people. Those who go to file a complaint are always shunted from one desk to another or from one police station to another. There must be a help desk set up for people to get their grievances addressed,” she adds.

Some women like Anam Hashim, a young biker, feels being alert at all times is helpful. “Women who are partying in crowded areas must be doubly alert about their surroundings and move around in the right company. It’s not always that the police will be around to help people. It is better for women to take care of their own safety before depending on somebody else,”she says. Anam also thinks it is helpful if women relook at what they wear to what occasion. “It is important to dress right. One mustn’t dress up just to fall in line or be identified with a group of friends. You have to dress to be safe at all times and not invite trouble,” she says.

Arming oneself with simple self-defence techniques has become more important for women than ever before, feels Shreya Iyer, a racer with TVS. Her job takes her to really far flung areas and she has mastered a few simple self-defence techniques that she can use to save herself in grave situations. “Women should never come across as weak or vulnerable when caught in adverse situations. This is when some of the techniques that women have learnt come in handy,” she says. With an increasing number of women working these days, Shreya feels they must be aware about the sticky situations that they can be caught in. “Every woman must muster enough courage and speak out when attacked. This will help the authorities catch hold on the culprits faster than expected,”she says.

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