‘Flash’ News: Are women feeling unsafe in Mumbai?

Is Mumbai becoming another Delhi? Are women feeling unsafe in Mumbai as well? Has Mumbai lost its humanity? The answer to the above questions is sadly in somewhat affirmative. The recent incidents of men with perverted mind-sets masturbating in public seems to point towards the fact that women are not fully safe, while using public transports such as local trains in Mumbai.

No sense of empathy
Recently, a Mumbai girl named Pooja Nair was subjected to this heinous act while travelling in a local train. The man completely not in his senses started abusing the girl and then unlocked his zipper and started masturbating in public. The girl bravely sat through this and then called the railway helpline number, but to her great shock, person on the helpline number took it very lightly and started laughing. The girl very bravely put the incident on social media site Facebook and many people applauded the girl’s courage.

A youth riding his motorbike flashed at college going girls in Powai on Thursday near Galleriya mall in Hiranandani area. In another shameful incident, a woman had to suffer a same ordeal while travelling in Tapovan Express. Again, the woman was subjected to this pathetic act at CST railway station by a man named Ashok Pradhan (20), who started masturbating and the woman called police, but got no response. The woman then recorded the whole incident and put it on social media and luckily cops caught the culprit.

Scary situation
The above incidents not only shows the apathy by the police but also the attitude of society. Ever since the Nirbhaya incident, crimes against women have not gone down and despite the culprits being given order of execution, there has been no deterrent for the culprits. The crimes committed against women are not isolated incidents and it has been happening everywhere from Agra to Arunachal Pradesh.

The rhetoric of women safety, women empowerment has to stop and concrete steps must be taken to stop assault of women in public places. The molestations are not limited to only in trains and buses and even in airlines cases of groping and eve teasing is happening. The government is talking about women’s strength and equality, but the ground reality is very different and the law is too weak and is taking too much time.

Crying for change
Half of the population of India consists of women and what signal are we sending to young girls, where they can be raped, groped, assaulted in broad daylight and the perpetrators can roam free? The reforms in police are very much needed to deal with women security and the police has to be sensitive enough to deal with cases of sexual aggression.

The cosmopolitan city of Mumbai prides itself on equality and equality can only be achieved if we treat women citizens with utmost respect and integrity. Mumbai is a diverse city and one of the very few places in India, where women can feel safe even at midnight, and Mumbai cannot afford to become another Delhi.

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