This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sanika Kulkarni. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

To Put An End To The Culture Of Rape, Indian Society Needs To Find Its Humanity

“Streeyascha apurusha margam sarva alankar bhushitha

Nirbhaya pratipadhyante yada rakshiti bhumipa.”

– Bhagavad Gita

We see, we narrate, we share, we exclaim, we talk and then we forget.

Do we take a step to stop it?

I read about many incidents of rape every day. And I always ask these question to myself: “When will India be a rape-free country? Will things change? Will a girl be safe and free from the demons wanting to eat her?” I am sure that even you want to see India as a rape-free country.

However, more frequently than not, toddlers, girls, women and old ladies are raped. They are raped both by people known to them or those who may be complete strangers. They are raped within their houses, on the streets or in front of the creator (that is, in places of worship). This shows an absolute lack of humanity in today’s society.

The fourth most common crime in India is rape. In 2013, it was found that a rape occurs every 20 minutes in India, according to the NCRB stats. This fact probably stands true for cases that are reported. What about the cases which are not reported?

The graph of crime rates in India shows an ever-rising trend. According to a recent report, the number of rape cases per lakh population in India has risen to 243 from 240. According to me, there may be a possibility that the crime rates haven’t increased drastically, but more and more cases are being reported (something which used to be avoided earlier for fear of social stigma). However, we are also living in a country where using the word ‘rape’ offends many. If we can’t face this reality, how will we fight?

Rape is a punishable offence under Section 375 of the IPC. Rape, according to me, is just an action to show how weak a woman is. The last thing a man can do is rape her – and often due to the fear of social stigma and losing reputation, women are forced to be quiet. This silence often gives men the ‘superpower’ of doing the act without any interruption. Some men even take revenge through this inhuman act.

Not only does rape cause physical damage, it also causes mental damage – and sometimes, it even takes the life of the victim. There are very few people who can deal with this situation with a strong heart. After a rape incident, the victim is often blamed. Are they really to blame here?

There are always people saying “chote chote kapde pehnegi toh aisa hi hoga’’, “ab ladko ke saath ghumegi toh aisa hi hoga” and “der raat ghumegi toh aisa hi hoga.” Do these factors really matter? What does a 7-month-old girl know about dresses and the difference between men and female? Can a 7-month-old girl go out at night alone?

In many such cases, after the incident, the survivor is interviewed and given sympathy. She is asked about the incident, her feelings and how she overcame everything – which are all good. But when will the accused be brought in front of everyone? When will we question them? Some rapists turn out to be extra cruel and inhuman – they rape the victim and even kill them.

However, women are not objects to be used and thrown away, are they? Women are created in the same way men are. They are not created to endlessly tolerate, bear torture and eventually die. The victims should not be blamed; instead, the accused or the rapist should be given a severe punishment.

A 2017 report by the Global Peace Index had claimed that India was the fourth most dangerous country for women travellers. The Gender Vulnerability Index 2017, compiled by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, found Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand to be the least safe regions for women and children in India.

Why is it that the women have to face all the restrictions? Why can’t men understand their responsibilities? Raping a women does not prove the masculinity of a man, right? Yet, women have been raped for ages. And, in my opinion, the roots of this malice can be understood in just one sentence – “Men are more powerful than women.” Where is the equality in this case? There’s been age-old struggle in India to dominate and suppress the members of a particular gender. And this struggle has led to destruction of our country.

Society Needs To Find Its Humanity

Being in the 21st century, one would expect things to be different, right?

It’s to be noted here that men are also being raped. Lesser cases are reported, yes – but there are also men who have been raped. In this context, it’s important for the law to realise this reality. After all, a crime is a crime – and those found guilty must be punished. No laws address the issue of men being raped, because the law defines rape as an act that can be only done by a man on a woman. In this case, men need justice and this has to stop.

To speak of some other related issues, sex workers have a significant chance of being sexually offended. As they are sex workers, it doesn’t mean that they have a tag which says, “I am available anytime and anywhere.” Consent is required to indulge in any sexual act.

Prostitutes also usually don’t get the justice they wish for. Same is the case with marital rape. The Indian law doesn’t recognise marital rape because it considers marriage to be a contract between a man and a woman, thus implying a physical union through coitus. But, there are cases of people being raped after their marriage. The law should therefore accept marital rape as a reality, because any form of physical union without the consent of any one of the individuals involved is wrong.

On the other side, there are also a few women who think that wives being beaten by husbands is not a crime. Here, there is a lack of knowledge. Schools and colleges are not just for scoring high marks and helping you get jobs; they should also teach you about what’s wrong and right. They should inform you of your rights so you can fight for justice, whenever needed.

According to me, only education can change people’s mindset and reduce crime rates. An act like marital rape is illegal in several countries abroad. When will India take the first step, in this regard?

Steps should be taken to stop the malice of rape in India. The roots of this evil need to be cut off. Our country does not require its citizens to give sympathy to each other and be quiet; it needs them to fight back. Every citizen should realize their responsibility and contribute their bit in stopping this.

There are people who have raised their voices against this grievous crime – and we should appreciate their efforts. After every reported incident of rape, news channels, social media, newspapers keep on talking and posting about the incident. This continues for only three or four days in most cases. They talk about justice. There are debates – citizens show their anger – and then, it all stops! No one fights till the end no one waits.

Can this make India a rape-free country? We should all unite and come forward and help our nation be rape-free. It’s not easy, but it is not impossible. Let the culpable party be scared of committing the crime, not the victim.

I hope for a change! #RapeFreeIndia.

“Hathon me candle leke chup chap aage badhne se kuch nhi badal sakta.

Dil me aag leke aage ladne ki chah rakhne se log bhi badal jaenge – aur desh bhi.”

(“Nothing will change by holding candles in our hands and keeping mum.

The people and the country will only change if the citizens express their will to fight – with fire in their hearts.”)


Featured image used for representative purposes only.

You must be to comment.
  1. haritha vujji

    Hope your posts lighten people ?

  2. Sunny Manghani

    So to make India a #RapeFreeIndia.

    I would like to share my views on #Men Empowerment.

    In our Indian society specially in my hometown when a girl child is born, she is taken as a 25 years project by her parents. They start saving every single penny for her education and most importantly for her marriage. They always keep a eye on her activities, clothes, friend cirlce etc…

    Because they live in a constant fear for her safety.

    On the other side, when a male child is born, He is free to choose his activities, clothes, friend circle etc… Parents are not much bothered about his activities… Both the parents have a deep belief that being a male gives him the license to choose his life on his own terms…

    So I personally believe that we need to take an initiative towards #Men Empowerment.

    All the parents need to take it as a project for their male child and to make him a sensitive human being specially towards women…

  3. Sunny Manghani

    We all talk about women empowerment… There are a lot of NGO’s as well as goverment’s programmes are working for women empowerment.

    Though I am not questioning the efforts done by them. They are truly appreciable.

    But here I want to present the other side of the coin…

    A rape is always done twice….

    Firstly in the mind of the rapist then in practical as an inhuman act.

    So.. in my point of view if it is stopped at its initial (first) level… It won’t come into action.

    Now the question arises here …. How??

    How can we stop it at its initial level…

    The answer is through #ManEmpowerment

    And as we know that charity begins at home…

    So #ManEmpowerment starts with home…

    Firstly the parents/guardians/elders in the family play a vital role.

    They need to grow up a male child with a lot of sensitivity towards girls/women. (Currently our more focus is on to make the girl child more sensitive towards men and society… Specially in my hometown)

    So we all just need to Re-think and to understand the need of the hour (I.e. #MenEmpowerment)

More from Sanika Kulkarni

Similar Posts

By IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute

By Sarah Elizabeth Jacob

By Pratisandhi Foundation

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        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.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        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.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        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.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        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.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        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.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        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.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below