Trigger warning: mentions of rape and sexual violence
Prime minister Narendra Modi visited Gorakhpur today, to inaugurate three, mega development projects worth ₹9,600 crore, which includes the development of a fertiliser plant, AIIMS (All India Institute Of Medical Science) Gorakhpur, and an ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) regional center.
On December 5, 2021, Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) chief minister, Yogi Adityanath briefed media persons about the upcoming projects at a press conference in Gorakhpur. Way before UP’s assembly elections, Yogi Adityanath is all set with his targeting strategy.
This news ended up grabbing the headlines. The front page of various newspapers were found to be talking about and praising the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government regarding the great steps that have been taken by it.
However, I think that the speech of our prime minister looked a little incomplete, as there was no mention of women and their safety in the list of the “development projects”.
Apart from this big headline, let’s take a look at the other headlines, which were printed in a smaller font, but managed to catch the readers’ attention anyway.
Here are a few headlines of the week from Yogi’s Uttar Pradesh other than the above one:
According to the a published by Statista on October 19, 2021, UP reported the second-highest number of rape cases across India in 2020: 2,769. Overall, India reported 28,046 cases of rape that year.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report of 2019 showed that an average of 88 cases got reported every day in India.
With thousands of reported rape cases, India’s development should not be and cannot be limited to the expressways and bridges. The security of the women living in the country should be given equal importance as the developmental projects.
Even with the availability of various women’s safety programs and articles on the Internet, women are still in dire need of much stronger steps that ensure our safety.
In an article published by The Hindu on July 21, 2021, Aleyamma Vijayan, who is a secretary at Sakhi Women’s Resource Centre, said that multiple mechanisms only creates confusion, as women tend to approach all of them.
It is to be noted that there is no way for one to know what the status of a complaint is, or who is following up.
While India looks just perfect superficially, underneath it, the safety of women and the improvement of our political, social, economic and health status, still haunts us.
I believe that it is impossible for us to imagine India as a fully developed country when half of the population is constantly worried about their safety. It is impossible for us to imagine living in a country where we don’t feel safe most of the time.