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Here’s The ONLY Way To Set Indian Women Free: CREA Contest Winning Entry

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By Pratiksha Tewari:

I’ve spent quite a huge chunk of my childhood growing up in various parts of Delhi. Like every other kid, I grew up playing near the park in the govt. colony where my grandparents lived, spending hours of power cuts out in the common ground playing till the lights came back on, travelling with my mother to see different relatives, cycling to school. But as similar as this growing up was to any other child’s, there was a different growing up that I did as a girl.

women

 

And surprisingly, none of it came from what my mother taught me; it came from my own experiences of Delhi. So learning not to talk to strangers in the park was combined with not wearing shorts or skirts so that straying hands couldn’t come in contact with my bare legs. Travelling around Delhi in buses taught me never to sit in the aisle seat to prevent being rubbed against a man’s groin “accidently”. Like me, many other girls in Delhi learnt a lot of tough lessons: Wearing your back packs in front in the crowded general compartments of the metro or in other crowded spaces to protect oneself from being groped, never walking back alone anywhere at any time of the day, dressing carefully, being responsible for our own safety because Delhi is not a safe place for girls and the worst of all- not creating a scene because people will invariably blame you. My brother is allowed to yell at me for walking back alone from the metro station at 6 in the evening because I am ‘a smart girl who should know better than to risk her safety like that.’ He grew up with me, but he never had to learn any of the life lessons I did. And this is where I like asking, why do girls have to do all the extra learning?

Why can’t our boys and men be taught different lessons? Why can’t we teach them that a woman is not their property and that she must be respected even if she isn’t their sister, mother or daughter? The need of the hour along with stringent laws and awareness about a woman’s rights is also reminding the men in our society their duties- of respecting women and treating them as equals. We might live in a free country, but a woman in India today is not free. She’s a slave of her fears; of being molested or eve teased in broad daylight, of being beaten up by her own family members, of being subjected to humiliation and condemnation if she dares to raise her voice. So truly, till we do not teach our male counterparts to grow differently than the way they have till now, no law or people’s movement can set the Indian woman free.

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  1. K.B.Srivastava

    (1) In all States an extra post of female home minister and female DGP should be created under whom a large number of female police personnel should be deputed to ensure security of women and solve the problem of female unemployment to some extent.(2) All ladies should lodge their FIR on Female Police Stations. If Female Police Stations are very far from that place, they should send their FIR on Email address of higher authorities.(3) Rape cases should be handled by female judges and lawyers. (4) All girls should be provided a pistol free of cost with bullets containing anaesthesia to get the culprits unconscious so that he can not rape. The lions are also shot to get them unconscious before their treatment.(5) There are 80.8Cr young voters in India whose vote make the government but if they stay in hotels with their wives ;or girl friends they are raided by the police for prostitution which create a disturbance to them. Some of them who are unable to pay bribes are sent to jail also. Therefore, Government should make such provision that hotels are not raided for prostitution and action against khap panchayatas and others should be taken who are against freedom of young voters and young voters should not have ;to go to Russia, Europe, Australia or America for more freedom.(6) Some poor mothers go to work for brick kiln and some of them go to other houses to wash utensils, leaving their children alone at home. Some of them are raped and some of them are murdered. Therefore, in each mohalla a crèche should be opened where these children should be admitted and a female constable should be deputed to look after these children.(7) In villages some poor families do not have toilets in their houses and they go out of their house in bushes, in arhar & sugarcane crops, where they are raped and sometimes murdered. Therefore, government should transfer the amount sanctioned for social welfare in accounts of poor families directly so that government employees can not embezzle the same. Thus they will be able to construct their toilets in their houses.(8) There were no rape cases up to 1955, when prostitution was regulated in India. Prostitution is still legal in India, but it is punishable up to a distance of 200 meters from a public place like schools, temple and hospitals etc. But after 200 meters, regulations have to be framed by the government. So to reduce number of rape cases, government should regulate it as it was in 1955. (9) There is ;shortage of girls in India in comparison of boys. So all boys can not ;be married. Therefore if foreign girls come in India and stay in hotels for fulfilling sexual desires of Indians, hotels should not be raided for prostitution. Measures suggested as above will certainly reduce number of rape cases.

  2. Prashant Kaushik

    Agreed about the importance but tell me how will you teach them ?

    We have movies like ‘GRand Masti’, which break all records in vulgarism. And no one speaks about them. Everyone shouts lesson should be learnt but who will teach those lessons ? Frankly, I feel this is just hypocrisy. When it comes to making suggestions , no one misses a chance, everyone preaches solution. When it comes to enact, everyone shrugs back with ‘why only me’ attitude.

    Feminists cry on top of voice that they must retain their freedom to wear whatsoever.
    Film makers cry that they must have freedom of expression.
    Humanist cry that juveniles are just kids.
    Law makers cry that they cant get everyone on board.

    Everyone comes with an excuse. But its so easy to blame someone else.

    1. Shelly Erişti

      Prashant, what a strange question! In American society, no one thinks it is so “difficult” to teach a boy to respect a girl. Everyone just does it.

      Do people in India really believe boys have such weak minds? Or are you saying that India has a general problem, that everyone in society no longer wants to take responsibility to teach children all values such as respecting each other, don’t cheat, don’t steal, etc?

  3. Raj

    I’m taking your “award-winning” lines and turning the inherent sexism inside-out
    “Why can’t our boys and men be taught different lessons? Why can’t they be taught that risking their lives for the society either by building it or defending it , is not their job. Why can the not be brainwashed into committing such suicidal actions and probably brainwash young girls with those same ideas? Why can’t men be taught that it’s OK not to earn money and thus pay no taxes. Let women instead be breadwinners (and pay well over 90% of our tax revenues), while men can take care of the house and enjoy all the benefits without working ”

    Such sexism is pointless. We all must contribute to the society, whether men or women.

    1. ReplierToAHarshComment

      Raj(*or the person who calls himself that) you are a disgruntled participant of the CREA competition. Pls don’t spam the walls of Youth ki awaaz and the rightly declared winning entries! Think before you ink and if you have are so sure about your stand why don’t you reveal your real name and link to your website. We will check out what you have to say there!!

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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.

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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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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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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.

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