Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): It was a wintry evening. A school girl was sharing an auto with two other people who were unknown to her. One of the passengers, a man in his 40s, inappropriately touched her. The scared girl did not say anything, although she looked uncomfortable and scared. When another passenger in the auto, also a woman, saw it, she stood up for the girl and told the auto driver to take the man to the police station. The driver then speeded up the vehicle and stopped it just in front of the police station. No sooner did that happen, the man got out of the vehicle and ran away.
The woman’s boldness not only boosted the girl's confidence but also gave a lesson to the wrongdoer. She is not alone; there are many unsung heroes who stand up for those who need help when they are alone on road, in an auto, or anywhere. Many such people who stood up for people in need were the ones who couldn’t stand up for themselves when they were little. ‘Speaking up for someone in situations where they fail to speak for themselves is important because these predators use the victim’s silence as their weapons,’ the safe guardians said.
‘I shouted at him, and then he ran out of the car’
Shruti Suman said, ‘I was in an auto with a schoolgirl and a 40-year-old man. The girl was sitting in the corner and the man was in the middle. I saw that he was touching her again and again. I held back for a while, thinking that she might know him or take a stand, but she was a little girl. At the end, I had to raise my voice. I asked the auto driver to drive towards the police station, and there, that man got out of the auto and ran away. Later, the girl thanked me.’
‘I was in a train and a man was touching me. I was young and scared, but then an unknown lady told the man to sit somewhere else.’
Anushka said, ‘I was travelling to Indore by train. There was this guy; he was being clingy and touchy. And this older lady just came up to me like she knew me and started talking to me. She asked the guy to change seats with her. Later, the same guy started recording us from a distance; I was scared to speak up, but she asked him to stop and threatened him. She is a hero for me.’
‘Why are you troubling her?’
Zainab Afzal said, ‘I was walking near VIP, and there I saw some guys following a girl. They were making vulgar comments. I went there and asked them to stop. They started lying and said they knew her. The girl said she does not know them. I informed a policeman nearby and they ran away.’
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