Running For A Cause – Women’s Safety In India

This year started off pretty peacefully for me personally, I took a short trip to the hills surrounding Mumbai and it was quite relaxing to take a small journey there and spend time with nature.

Unfortunately I couldn’t take many pictures because my phone died on numerous occasions and the truth is I didn’t really care. It was off for a few days and it was quite nice for a change. Disconnecting(with technology and people) and re-connecting (with myself and nature).

This is the only picture I took on the way there.

Goodbye city lights.. the hills are calling πŸ™‚

A post shared by Gaurav Krishnan (@poetarmedwithmusic) on

When I got back to Bombay and back to work, one particular incident in the news came through shortly after the new year.

In Bangalore, India while the whole world was celebrating safely and happily, a number of women were mass-molested by men after partying on New Year’s Eve. It was dubbed as ‘Bangalore’s Night Of Shame’.

Here is the full article documenting it.

http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/cover-story/bengalurus-night-of-shame/articleshow/56279784.cms

These are some of the pictures.

banaglore-molestation

women-molested

banhgalore-representative-reuters-l

The thing is, this is not the first time such incidents have happened in the country. There is an underlying belief by men in India that they can get away with treating women however they want. Whether it’s domestic abuse or violence or eve-teasing and bullying it’s pretty nasty. While there have been a number of horrifying rapes in the past in my country, the problem is nobody takes action!

North India is bad. South India is also bad. There is no point comparing it. A lot of my female friends from Delhi would tell me about the eve-teasing prevalent there. They were not allowed to travel out alone after 9 or 10pm by their parents. They also told me about how happy they were to be able to roam around late at night(In Manipal my college in Karnataka, India) thanks to all of us being there with them.

Manipal was in Karnataka(the same state as Bangalore) and there was a rape which happened there after I left college, which was horrible once again.

This was the verdict after it.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Lifesentence-for-3-accused-in-Manipal-gang-rape-case/articleshow/49379259.cms

Luckily, no such thing happened to anyone when I attended college there.

It’s not just Karnataka, Tamil Nadu or Kerala or any state in South India. It’s the whole country. It’s the thinking of men that’s the problem.

I have been robbed of my phone, wallet and other valuable items at knife point when I was travelling alone in Kerela. I let the guy threatening me just take my stuff peacefully and kept calm.

But rape and molestation is worse. It’s the worst thing.

The way the Government and police deal with such issues is equally disgusting. The home-minister of Karnataka actually had the audacity to say that it was the women who were at fault for Β ‘aping the westerners’ and ‘dressing provocatively’.

But it wasn’t until I saw this video that I completely lost my cool. This video caught by a CCTV camera was possibly the worst thing I had seen in a long time.

I was just lost for words when I saw that.

What was more shocking in the video was the fact that people at the end of the road just stood and watched this unfold! Let me tell you, if it was my city of Mumbai(India’s safest) – those pathetic human beings who molested that girl would have had their brains beaten out of their skulls. I’m telling you this because in Mumbai, there is a certain brotherhood and morality pervading throughout it’s core, indigenously.

Whether it’s helping people when there are mass-floods, or terror-attacks or the general comradery and nature of Mumbaikars to help one another in any situation, which is something I have experienced myself, it’s difficult to understand how things are so different in the same country! This stuff in other cities just alarms me. I have seen myself as a kid when a thief tried to rob a woman’s purse before she got off a train when I was travelling in it, a mob of Mumbai city folk chased after him on the platform of Churchgate station and beat him almost half to death and returned the purse to the woman.

The Mumbai public will not tolerate such behaviour from anyone and I’m glad to see how many cops are out patrolling the streets everywhere these days and nights in my city.

So my question is why can’t every city in India be as safe for women as Mumbai? Isn’t it the duty of the Government to at least ensure that our country’s streets are safe for women!

Safety for women is a basic and important thing. These incidents must stop.

Another article on this incident was this, blaming Indian parents for not teaching their sons basic respect for women.

And another claiming that it’s always been like this in Bangalore.

Of course our Government is more worried about ‘black’ or ‘unaccounted for’ money, which pissed me off.

Luckily some people took notice and decided to spread some awareness for this glaring issue in my country and not surprisingly it was my city of Mumbai itself.

UACTIV powered by a number of sponsors came up with an event which was held last night – the 7th of January 2017 – to run 7 km (roughly 5 miles) and donate some money to raise awareness for the safety of women in India apart from gender equality.

I took part in it and although I had never run 7km at one go in my life before, I just decided to do it.

This was the event.

And here is one picture I took before running.

I completed the 7km distance rather quickly even though I thought I couldn’t go on at certain points, I just pushed myself saying ‘Keep Going’ and ‘It’s all in the head’.

Here was the medal and certificate I received.

Here is the music I ran to.

My question is why wasn’t this held in Bangalore? Or do people in that city just not care about those women who got molested because it wasn’t someone they knew or them. That’s the problem, people aren’t empathetic enough. Everybody is inherently self-centered and selfish. As long as it doesn’t affect them personally, it doesn’t matter what happens in the world. That’s the fucking problem right there – the thinking.

Imagine if any of those women were your sisters or girlfriends or friends. That would make you act for sure wouldn’t it?

For all the people from abroad who are reading this. India is not like this. This is not truly how we are as people. India is a great country to travel to and visit. I still encourage you to do it but always make sensible friends here and be safe while travelling alone in the night.

I used to visit Bangalore quite often a very long time ago and then stayed there for 3 months. I hated the city and the people mainly because of their closed-mindedness and general stupidity, but it was for someone, my entire point of visiting that shit-hole of a city was her. I really didn’t get treated very well by anyone(including her) while I was there, except for a few college friends. Anyway I don’t want to bring it up at all.

So I’m just ending this with this.

Take care.

Be better India.

Peace

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