Skip to main content

Women protest sexual abuse in elite Delhi locality amidst heavy police presence

By Our Representative

A women’s collective of Delhi’s Dwarka area, Dwarka Eksath, has held an awareness event and a march to protest against recent incidents of sexual harassment in the elite urban locality despite the police refusing to give the events a permission. It was amidst wide apprehensions that the authorities have refused to act effectively despite complaints made to them.
Held to show solidarity with the cause a Dwarka braveheart, Shirin Talwar, who went public with her ordeal of sexual harassment at the hands of a man near her home at 8.40 am on October 17, 2020, as also others who had complained to the police about sexual harassment incidents in the area, ahead of the event, members of Dwarka Eksath organized community meetings in the community, and a delegation met DCP Dwarka and DM Southwest seeking immediate action.
Even though the offender, who happened to be a cop, has been arrested, the event helped highlight how these women had filed FIRs, and how the offender had the audacity to roam around the suburb in a Baleno car without a number plate and harass women, make inappropriate gestures and pass lewd comments since January.
Despite heavy police presence, the organisers and 80-odd participants, said a Dwarka Eksath communique, refused to budge from the venue. They expressed their desire to court arrest if they are not allowed to organise the event because they were following the stipulated guidelines. “The police authorities had no choice but to allow the event to be held instead at the gate of the Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya in Sector 10, amid heavy police bandobast.”
A group of women from Action Aid India led by Sushila sang songs and raised slogans in order to electrify the mood of the awareness event. A few others used the platform to come out and share their unpleasant experiences and demand action by the law authorities for every wrong done to another woman. Scientist, poet and social activist Gauhar Raza and social activist Madhavi Kane recited poems on this occasion.
A few members of the collective – Madhavi Kane, Shameera Ashroff, Leena Dabiru, Ritu Khulbe, Romila Gandhi, Chitra, Roomi Zakir, and Asha Varshney -- presented a dance performance titled Bekhauf, followed by a song by another member Zakir and her daughter.
Other members of Dwarka Eksath including Seema Joshi, Anuradha Ganguly Ramaswamaiah, Mamata Dash and Hashmi touched upon the various aspects of the cause and the case being pursued by the collective and the need for larger systemic reforms, change of social mindset and plans for the collective action from the authorities to ensure that incidents like in their speeches.
“Dwarka is one of the three sub-cities to be developed in the Capital three decades ago. Over the years, what has been overlooked are its safety planning and execution. The ineptitude led to an incident like Shirin's molestation by a cop. The administration needs to pull up its socks to assure we, the women, that it will be on its toes to make Dwarka’s public spaces safe for us,” said Mamata Dash.
Sukhmanch, a city-based young theatre group staged a street play. “Their strong storytelling poignantly highlighted the condition of a woman in our society. All of us live with all these experiences in some way or the other. It tugged at my heartstrings, and I couldn’t help but choke after watching it. It was a powerful performance,” said Archana Singh, a member of the collective.
Anuradha Ganguly Ramaswamaiah brought to light another appalling incident where a girl child was molested by a delivery guy in her housing society. She stated that the kind of harassment that Shirin faced is something that every woman faces in this country, across all class, caste, age, and religious divides. The criminal could be any regular person, a school staff, a tuition teacher, music teacher, friend's father, a delivery boy or even a relative. 
The event to demand safe public spaces in Dwarka culminated with a song to celebrate the indefatigable spirit of life and living
Addressing the gathering, Talwar said women are often at the receiving end, because when an incident like this happens, it is they who are asked questions, seldom the men: What time was it? What were you wearing? Even if they decide to take up the cudgels, they are dissuaded because more often than not, it is a lonely fight.
"It happened with me when I was all covered during the morning hours. There were two incidents before this reported one. We filed five FIRs, and the accused was arrested. It remains a collective fight. We raised our voices, loud and strong, and will keep doing it. We stood up for our rights, and we are fighting with all our might because we are one", she added.
The protestors marched towards the DDA Sports Complex, also in Sector 10, and the event to demand safe public spaces in Dwarka culminated with a song to celebrate the indefatigable spirit of life and living – “Tu zinda hai, tu zindagi ki jeet mein yakeen kar.”
The event ended after the organisers read out a charter of demand which included assurance that all such cases of crime against women will be handled promptly; inquiry against the traffic personals, who were first complained about the sexual harassment by a man in a car without a number plate, but refused to act; regular audit of all CCTV cameras; patrolling around the incident prone areas; prominent display of helpline numbers; and adequate street lights in Dwarka area. 

Comments

TRENDING

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Employment loss vis-a-vis pre-Covid situation 'neutralized', claim Govt of India data

By Arup Mitra, DPS Negi, Puneet Kumar Shrivastav* The Labour Bureau, an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, has been entrusted with the task of conducting the All-India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey (AQEES) which has two components namely Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) in respect of establishments employing 10 or more workers (mostly constituting ‘organised’ segment) and Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES) to build up a frame in respect of establishments employing nine or less workers.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

How green revolution led to 'deterioration' of Punjab economy, land, air and water

By Dr Gian Singh*  A recent research paper, based on a survey of 320 farming families in four districts of Punjab, has tried to show that high crop densities and the use of inputs have led to degradation of land, air, water and humans through a rich agricultural structure. Although mechanization has increased agricultural productivity, it has also caused environmental degradation.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Article 370 abrogation hasn't helped curb terrorist attacks: Kashmiri Pandit group

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Lt Governor, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in the Valley, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) president Sanjay K Tickoo has taken strong exception to what he calls" callous approach" shown by the administration and security agencies towards "non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits / Hindus living in Kashmir Valley".

India's weak fiscal position: Can higher gold reserves help stem further deterioration?

Counterview Desk  India Gold Policy Centre at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIMA), which has been researching on global gold markets working closely with the Government of India as as an advisor on various policy initiatives in several key areas relating to the use of gold as a fungible financial asset, has claimed that high levels of Central Bank gold reserves has had “positive implications for India.”

India's 55% firms perceive significant, sustained high-cost pressure: IIM-A survey

Costs per unit compare: % responses By Our Representative  A new Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) survey, involving responses from executives of around 1,200 companies across India, has said that the cost perceptions data indicates “sustained high-cost pressures”, with over 55% of the firms perceiving significant (over 6%) cost increase.