Incidents of eve-teasing are on the rise in the city. Some girls said persons responsible for enforcing the law were turning a blind eye. Here, they recount instances when they felt vulnerable on the streets:
Targets: Student of Patna Women’s College and a non-resident Indian
Age: 21 and 20, respectively
When: December 2012
Incident: My cousin, a non-resident Indian, and I were on our way to college in an autorickshaw to attend a Christmas Eve programme. A middle-aged man got up and started to touch her. She screamed at him and we got off. But our troubles were far from over.
Near the entrance of our college, there was a crowd. Taking advantage of it, a few boys started to touch us while one began to whistle. My cousin was furious and started to argue with the boys. She said she was disgusted.
Target: Student of Magadh Mahila College
When: August 2013
Incident: I was on my way to college when a car, with four boys in it, blocked my way. One of them, sitting in front, said: “Itni jaldi mein kahan ja rahe ho baby? (Where are you going in such a hurry?)”
At first, I was scared but then I got angry. I thought I would retort but then decided against it, as I was alone and there were four of them.
As I started to go, one of the boys caught my wrist. I freed myself and ran to my college.
A woman constable is deputed at the college gates for security. I complained to her but she did nothing even as my tormentors drove past, laughing. I felt very angry.
Target: Student of Patna Women’s College
When: September 2013
Incident: I used to go to college on a scooty. A group of bikers began to follow me and ask for my number.
I ignored them but they continued to trouble me. I started to take an autorickshaw to college instead of my scooty.
One day, they boarded the auto. I was scared, as I did not even have a cellphone. The boys started to call me all sorts of names, like “halkat jawani” and “Munni badnam”.
The autorickshaw driver was nonchalant. When they started to sing songs of Honey Singh, notorious for abusing women, I jumped off the vehicle to save myself.
Target: Student of JD Women’s College
When: September 2013
Incident: This happened three days ago. I was on way home from college when two boys on a motorcycle started to take my pictures on their cellphones. I was furious and told them to delete those. They just laughed and drove away. I am scared that they will edit my pictures and circulate them.
While girls encounter tormentors on the streets everyday, their parents at home are also a worried lot.
Lovely Sinha, a resident of Khajpura, said: “My daughter returns home from her tuitions in the evening. I’m always worried until she reaches home.”
Analysing the social menace, Vinay, a psychiatrist, said: “Vulgarity and violence are rampant in our society. Young men indulge in eve-teasing because they have seen adults behave in a similar manner. The only way to address the problem is by conditioning and imbibing values in children.”
Young women claim they would feel safer if the police and the authorities take initiatives to ensure their security.
Neha Dixit, a student of Patna Women’s College, said: “In Ahmedabad, the police have started a service to pick up and drop women who are stranded on the road without any transport after 8pm. If Patna police, too, introduce such a service, girls would feel much safer.”
The police also are often guilty of not performing their duties. Shikha Singh, a teacher at Patna Women’s College, said: “Two woman constables have been deployed at the gates of the college. But they have not come for duty for the past two weeks.”
Told about it, Kotwali police station house officer Aman Kumar said action would be initiated against the constables.
He said the police had started a number of measures to ensure the security of women.
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