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What happened to Disha in Hyderabad can happen to any of our daughters. What can we do to make the world and their lives safer for them?
Yes. One more article to the long list of articles in the last couple of weeks focused on the recent rape and atrocities committed on women. For those who are wondering if there are one too many posts lately, this is what we writers do, we pour our hearts out to express outrage the only way we can, by writing about it. Although, we feel helpless, like most of you, the least we can do is bring our thoughts into the world for everyone to read and hope that one day, maybe one day it will change the mindset of one person and that’s one less rape and torture that a girl has to go through.
My heart feels heavy. It has been more than 3 weeks since the brutal rape and murder of young Disha in Hyderabad and since then there have been several other similar incidents.
What happened to Disha can happen to any of our daughters. It could have been my daughter who is in college or my niece who works in late night shifts in IT, both doing what every other girl their age is doing, living their ordinary lives, which is no different than what Disha was up to on that fateful night. When incidents like this happen, the first thought that comes to our minds as women is how can we protect our girls. It is easier for me to ask my daughter and niece to stay home after 8 pm but it is not practical and more importantly it sends the wrong message. What should I tell them, then? How can I help? What would each one of us do if we have to protect our daughters?
There is quite a lot that Government can also do to curb the atrocities on women such as:
As women, we wear many hats and we play several roles. We can do anything if we put our mind to it. We could make an impact, a difference in each of the roles we play.
If you are a mother,
~ Teach your sons to respect women so that they don’t treat women like objects.
~ Teach self defence to your daughters so they are able to protect themselves if or when, God forbid, they run into such situations.
~ Raise awareness to both your sons and daughters so that they are not naive and are able to trust their gut and act fast when such situations arise.
If you are a wife in a abusive household, get help, let your sons and daughters know that abusive behavior is not the norm, and women need to be respected not abused.
If you are a mother-in-law, do not support your son when he abuses his wife mentally or physically, but stand up for your daughter in law and teach your son to respect his wife.
If you are a sister, teach your brother how to treat women right so that he doesn’t stalk or tease any girl.
If you are a celebrity,
~ Stop making, acting, supporting, or having any involvement with misogynistic movies.
~ Stop the objectification of women in movies.
~ Use your celebrity status wisely by sending the right message to the youth.
Each one of us, including the Government, has certain responsibilities towards curbing the violence against women but we are not going to achieve anything if we drag our feet in making the necessary changes.
The endless debates on television and social media are frustrating where the only outcome is hours of wasted time and the only objective is to make money at the cost of these unfortunate victims and their grief stricken families.
I was watching a documentary the other day on how women in Mexico are taking upon themselves to search for their lost children and adult kids in treacherous and violent areas of Mexico, after giving up on corrupted authorities as they have no trust in them. If women in such unsafe and unstable places can risk their lives to find their sons and daughters, we should be able to move mountains to make India safe for our daughters by teaching our kids better. As someone once said “Nobody can do everything but everyone can do something.” Either we can shift the blame to others, wait for the next rape to happen so we can debate for hours and do nothing or each one of us can make small changes and make an impact. The choice is ours.
It is true that currently, India is no country for women. It is also true that we continue to fail our daughters, but we could turn the tables by starting small, starting at home, making an effort to change things so our future generation of young girls can walk freely in the night without any fear. Let us make this dream a realty.
The day a woman can walk freely on the roads at night, that day we can say that India has achieved Independence. – Mahatma Gandhi
Image source: shutterstock
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