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Raped, Raping, Will Rape: An Endless Cycle Expands While The “High And Mighty” Seek Solutions

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By Tulika Narayan:

Every once in a while I pick up a newspaper only to get horrified. Every time I watch TV, the reality strikes me and every moment I have wondered over spending a night all alone, the issue has always pinned me. Elders often ask us not to get perturbed by such news, but it isn’t that comforting either.

woman

Last few months have seen back to back cases of young girls being raped, mauled, assaulted, brutalized, harassed, shoved off a running train or left locked in a house without food or water for months together. Umpteen cases of rapes in a span of just 24 hours in every district of the nation used to sound dreadful; now it’s a part and parcel of life. There would not be perhaps a single girl not having one such frightful story in her kitty.

As a nosy media brings these images to us 24/7, the news seems to have anaesthetized us out of our ability to empathize, react or protest. Are we a citizenry bereft of any human emotion and conscience? Our silence condones crime. Our apathy is their power source. Our indifference is the curtain these criminals hide behind, each time they ruin a woman’s life.

More than twenty cases of rape and molestation were reported in Haryana, in a month; let alone Delhi and rest of the country. And mind you, twenty is just another number which have been figured out; heaven knows how many complaints the police refused to lodge. Add on to that, the number of cases which were not reported at all due to varied reasons like family reputation, the victim being too ashamed or afraid or murdered, etc. The toll of gang rapes seems to be increasing day by day. An ongoing struggle for emancipation of women seems unending; or, shall I say, redundant?

Going through a few back end stories of some of those cases, we find out that reasons for such inhumanity is that the accused wanted to teach the victim a lesson. Lesson for what? Because she refused to surrender before their unending, unethical pleasures; because she retaliated to their molestation; because she raised her voice!

What I see, the more such cases are being unearthed, the more these heinous crimes are happening! From one end of the country we come to know about a 6-year girl being raped by a father, and the entire “rape-culture” itself changes. Worse becomes the worst. Their inner animal mocks, “What an idea Sirji! Why the hell was I hunting down outside home when I have so many daughters/cousins/sisters?”

The moment an acid attack case hits our ears, galore of such cases started piling up. Probably, they got yet another Sirji’s idea. “A 50 bucks acid would satisfy my virility; or a lesson for her should satisfy my ego.”

You always see what you tend to see. They choose to see various methods to answer their overexcited hormonal calls from the pain and agony of women. And the government, society, feminists, pro-feminists and thinkers talk of emancipation of women’s destiny! It’s not their mentality, its sickness; they are the sufferers of low self esteem. You arrest them today and then release tomorrow to feed their sexual drives again. India has now become a land of wild and vile. Who are these men walking with us in the crowd and committing such heinous crime? Bringing on such news should make them realize of what they are doing. But is it happening? From any angle, do you see a sense of penance in their eyes? It’s not. It’ll not. Such news will give them new ideas to continue with their desires, ideas to sodomise! That’s it.

No, I am not asking to keep such news at low; not to raise your voice. But only raising voice won’t work. A story should always end with a moral. The headlines must change from “A girl was allegedly raped” to “An attempted rape was FIRed and a finger has been taken out of his body.” Personally, I have surrendered hoping that the mentality of men would change. No, the situation would only keep getting worse. No education, morale or therapy can make them gentlemen. Because they are not men, they are animals! Capital punishment is an easy walk. That girl who gets raped dies every day; she fights with herself every morning, fights with the mockery of the society, fights answering how ‘exactly’ was she raped, fights for being a ‘She’! Capital punishment doesn’t justify those tears. Such people should also be agonized and tortured to death!

Against the strangers who took away my sanctity;
Against the injustice I bore yet never seemed pretty;
Against the darkest night I fear talking about even to myself;
Against each tear that ran through my eyes on itself;
Against the present with a violence;
Against the people who never realized my essence;
Against the world that took away my toy;
Against the rules that killed my joy;
Against each devil the government spare
I dare!

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        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

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        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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