So, what do we do now ?
Once the candle marches are over, when we have to perforce go back to our colleges and offices,what do we do?
How do we sustain this anger?
How do we continue to ask the questions that have been raised?How do we persistently keep on making efforts to improve the safety of girls and women in India?
The answers are not clear but I will try to find some on one aspect – that is public harassment of girls/women.
- React to public teasing, I dislike the term ‘eve-teasing’- that is , don’t just give a look, shout and scream, go ballistic and EVERYBODY should support the girl. Let their be no silent spectators. Make the situation such that men are scared to – tease, pass remarks, touch in passing – anything.
- Public has power, if all us strongly decide to raise a voice against harassment of a girl in public, incidences will go down. Many of us are scared to directly help or raise a voice but let us promise , none of us will be alone now. One voice will be joined by many,always.
- Girls , be alert. Do not walk on the roads busy talking on mobiles or listening to music, lost in your own world. Don’t look like a victim. Look confident and assertive. Look strong.
- Learn basic self defense skills, know where to punch, you need to be alert and agile not just physically strong, you need to mentally strong.
- If you are touched incorrectly, turn around and face the tormentor and speak loudly in mother tongue. If you are in a bus ask the driver to take the bus directly to the nearest police station immediately.
- If you walking and alone , directly ask help from passers by instead of looking around helplessly. You will be surprised how many will help sincerely if asked directly.
- Learn to be a good judge of character, trust your instincts, your inner voice.
I am writing these suggestions purely on the basis that something has changed, that after December 2012 if a girl appeals for help we all will come forward in spite of office hours , if we see a girl being harassed we will not lower our eyes and walk away, each and every one of us will remember -its my nation and my concern,my responsibility…”I will not allow innocent girls to be scared”
I am hoping SOMETHING has changed …