rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Last updated on: January 23, 2013 11:44 IST

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

     Next

Next

The brutal gang rape and death of a paramedical student in national capital New Delhi and subsequent reports on similar incidents have sparked major concerns about women's security.

News agency Reuters talked to women in New Delhi to learn about how they are coping with the menace of sexual harassment.

 

We start off with 23-year-old Ishita Matharu.

Says Ishita, "I am not scared to travel alone by myself at night. After learning Krav Maga (a non-competitive eclectic self-defence system developed in Israel that involves boxing, muay Thai, jiu-jitsu and wrestling), I am more confident to step out of my house late in the evening. I am no more frightened to drive alone or go out with friends."

Ishita has been taking Krav Maga classes for over four years.


Click on NEXT to go further...


Image: Ishita Matharu, 23, who works for a multinational company, poses for a picture
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

     Next

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Shaswati Roy Chaoudhary, 23, was given a pepper spray by a male friend for her self defence.

"The recent spate of events that have come to light have left me all the more threatened and alarmed. To take the first step towards self defence, I carry a pepper spray bottle. That apart, I can never relax on the roads once out of the house, almost always vigilant and looking out for trouble," she says.

Click on NEXT to go further...

 


Image: Shaswati Roy Chaoudhary, 23, who works for an online fashion company holds a bottle of pepper spray in a public park in New Delhi
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

Prev     Next

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Deepshikha Bharadwaj, 24, who works for an advertising agency, has posted a notice that reads 'sorry I am not staying late now' on her office desk.

She wanted to send a message to her colleagues that she is not going to work late in the office anymore.

Click on NEXT to go further...


Image: Deepshikha poses inside her office elevator holding a notice that reads 'sorry I am not staying late now' in her office in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

Prev     Next

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Sheetal (23), who works at a night call centre, has started carrying a small knife for her protection.

She says, "Something which needs to be changed is not my working hours or my clothes but the mentality of the men in this city".

Click on NEXT to go further...


Image: Sheetal, 23, who works at a night call centre, poses for a photograph
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters
Tags: , Delhi

Prev     Next

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Nalini Bharatwaj, 37, chairman of a management institute, now keeps a gun by her side.

She says, "Half of the time I am alone with my children and sometimes I have to travel late at night from work. It is enough to shut up anyone trying to molest me or even pass a comment if I flaunt my gun."

Click on NEXT to go further...


Image: Nalini Bharatwaj, 37, chairman of a management institute, holds a gun while posing in her office in New Delhi
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

Prev     Next

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Simrat, 24, who works for a non-profit arts organisation, says: "I made the decision to use public transport as my primary way of moving through the city because I really believe that it is my right to be able to use public space, just as much as it is of any man's."

She adds, "Not using the metro or an auto or a bus or a cycle rickshaw (because it might not be a safe thing to do) is not an option in my mind because if I stop myself from living my life in ways that are most convenient to me, I am giving into fear and ceding my independence. I use the metro because it is the most convenient travel option for me and I will continue to do so."

Click on NEXT to go further... 


Image: Simrat travels in the women's compartment of a metro in New Delhi
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters
Tags: Simrat , Delhi

Prev     Next

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Fashion Media Communication student Aanchal Sukhija, 19, says that whenever she hires an auto rickshaw she has to send a short message to her father giving details of the auto in order to feel secure.

"The government claims that the girl would be safer if she does not step out after 7 pm, but one question which still remains unanswered (for me) would be -- how safe am I even under the brightly lit sky? For how long sending a series of texts, including the driver's name and the vehicle registration number, to my father after hiring an auto rickshaw would give me the sense of security?"

Click on NEXT to go further...


Image: Aanchal waits for an auto rickshaw outside a metro station in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

Prev     Next

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Chandani, 22, who works as a cab driver for a social enterprise which claims to provide safe and secure cab services for women driven by women, says that demand for their cabs has increased after the recent Delhi gan grape.

"I am doing a very unconventional job for women. Given that I do night shifts, I carry pepper spray bottle and I am trained in self-defence. Initially, I faced a lot of problems but driving cabs at night has helped me to overcome my fears."

Click on NEXT to go further...


Image: Chandani inside her car on a street in New Delhi
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters
Tags: Delhi

Prev     Next

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Baishali Chetia, 30, a freelance visual artist, says, "Men can never understand the lack of freedom as we do. For a woman, to learn how to fight and defend herself from any kind of physical assault, to thrive to succeed in the field of martial arts, which is traditionally considered a male domain, is the best way to break away from the shackles of gender stereotypes that say that women can't protect themselves and therefore shouldn't step out of their house late in the evening without being escorted by a male member of the family or a male friend."

Click on NEXT to go further...


Image: Baishali travels in a bus after attending her Krav Maga class
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

Prev     Next

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Richa Singh, 24, who works for an online travel portal, says: "Women are seen as objects in this city. It does not matter what I wear, I still get stared at by men on the streets".

Click on NEXT to go further...


Image: Richa poses next to a mannequin at a market in New Delhi
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

Prev     Next

Delhi girls fight back fear and prejudice

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Sweety, 22, a student, travels four hours every day from her village to New Delhi to learn karate and taekwondo.

She said, "Boys in my village are scared to tease me after I beat up one boy who was passing lewd comments on me".

Click on NEXT to go further...


Image: Sweety takes a self defence class in New Delhi
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

Prev     Next

Top PHOTO features of the week

Prev     More

Click on MORE to see another set of PHOTO features...



Tags: PHOTO , MORE

Prev     More