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Written by G Anurag Rao
With steady rise in sexual harassment cases over the nation, and with the number of rapes only increasing, it is prudent that the women of today are aware of certain basic self-defence tactics and also to make sure that basic defence equipment such as pepper-sprays are easily available. Of late, more and more women are approaching and undertaking various self defence classes and workshops. Certain women, due to their training in martial arts and self defence remain untouched by prying men.
However, most women today are not taking up these courses just for self defence but as a hobby that they like and enjoy.
Since pepper-sprays are not easily available in India, 2 girls decided to formulate Do-It-yourself (DIY) pepper-spray post molestation in their own social circle.
D.I.Y PEPPER SPRAY:
How to prepare your own do it yourself pepper-spray:
‘Meera and Purvi are the two bloggers who formulated the D.I.Y formula on (twomaterialgirls.tumblr.com/) (twomaterialgirls.tumblr.com/post/27317744741/how-toreduce-a-molester-to-tears)’
“I have been associated with Judo for over the past 12 years. My training has helped me achieve a sense of security, strength and confidence irrespective of where I am. Physically, I feel much stronger than many others and this has in turn boosted my morale and self-confidence.” Shares Vaidanti (17)
Sara, a make-up artist is a Portugal citizen who has been in the city for the past 7 years. “Martial arts for me, has been an early childhood passion. It soon turned into a hobby. Apart from self defence, the sessions have given me plenty of focus and awareness. My mind and body feel much sharper and my concentration levels have dramatically increased.” She adds, “It is also a great way to blow off some steam. The other advantage now, is the feeling of control and to be able to handle any sticky situations thrown at me. I know that if someone tries to take advantage of me, I can surely incorporate the moves I’ve learnt and put them in place. Also, I believe anyone; especially women can take it up as it is extremely beneficial for the body and for self confidence.”
“Judo is all about positivity. A woman who chooses to learn martial arts is unknowingly choosing to protect herself. Her vibes, her confidence, her walk, and her aura- everything changes and becomes stronger and less vulnerable. When you are all positive within, you’d never attract the attention of those unwanted men. They will automatically stay away. Martial arts make you feel strong and that’s all you need to protect yourself.” Shared a B.A student from Mithibhai College.
Viira cabs, women based cabs agency that understands the matter of security has employed an all women staff and women drivers for its company.
“The women who are employed here come from different backgrounds and different places. To them, a vehicle is a gizmo they do not understand. They are trained not only to drive but are also trained in martial arts by an in-house karate instructor.” Said Preeti Sharma, M.D of Viira cabs when asked about the security issues of these women.
But not most receive this sort of training. They often depend on others around who may or may not be of much help. So a few simple steps could not only help keep women out of trouble but also help them gain a level of confidence.
Precautions are always a better option but in case you do come across an assailant, a pepper-spray may not always be as useful as hand-leg coordination combat in certain situations.
These basic defence tactics have been shared by Mr. Vikram Kapoor from KravMaga India. He is the Managing Director of Ultimate Tactical and Combat PVT Ltd;
It is a firm catering to military, combat gear, training, equipment and various security related services.
KravMaga is a highly effective, battle tested Israeli system of defensive tactics, fighting skills and self-defense. It is used by all major special units in the military, law enforcement and also the civilian sector. It is based on natural reflexes, easy to learn irrespective of strength, size, age or gender.
Credits: G Anurag Rao is a journalist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mumbai Pride Walk 2014 details:
When: Saturday, 1/02/2014
Time to Assemble: 3 pm
What time will The March begin: About 4 pm
Where will we march to : From August Kranti Maidan to Opera House, then on to footpath till Girgaum Chowpatty
Who will lead us: The QAM Banner and the Giant Pride Flag.
Where to Assemble: At August Kranti Maidan . Collect your posters and banner that you would like to march with . Get your mini Pride Flags
How do we know that the March has begun: The banner and the flag start marching . The security volunteers will start telling you to join in the march behind the flag .
What Happens next: Nashik Dhols start at the Nana Chowk and the march has begun.
On arrival at Opera House: Balloons will be released marking end of the walk, from here we walk on the footpath till Girgaum Chowpatty
On arrival at Chowpatty: Talk, have fun , disperse in a while and then join the Post Pride Party.
Mumbai, do attend and show solidarity, it’s a great event to celebrate true colors!
Also, we are featured on the home page of popular social causes Indian webzine Halabol this week.
Do check out both and be part of change!
As we enter the 65th year of our Republic, Hollaback Mumbai wants to raise few impertinent questions in a democratic India.
We debate on why India, even after 65 years of being a constitutionalised democratic republic not able to provide safe public spaces to its citizens?
Why we continue to face discrimination due to gender, sexual, caste, class & regional identities?
Why we still struggle for equality & freedom on the streets?
We want to know why our discrimination on the streets is tolerated?
We explore ways to making India safer for ALL.
We raise the bar for equality in public spaces.
We, as people of different color, caste, region, gender and sexual orientation demand our rights to be safe in public spaces.
We want to end this prejudiced attitude of our own people.
WE WANT THE #RIGHTREPUBLIC!
Join us for a Tweet-a-thon this Sunday, January 26th, 2 pm IST and let’s find these answers together.
FB Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/495074763938768/
This is so empowering that we had to re-blog. This brave lady not only opens one’s eyes to the facts of our lives but empowers everyone who reads this beyond words. If you have the will, do try and answer some of her questions that are way too impertinent to be left ignored.
Re-blogged from http://therestlessquill.blogspot.in/
I don’t know how many women can safely say that they have never been molested in their lives. If they’ve been out in a public space, it doesn’t matter what they are wearing, whether they are in great shape, whether they’re lovely to look at or just plain, they will have been grabbed.
Very often, when the question of molestation comes up, everyone loves to label a city safe or unsafe, depending on what frame of mind they are in. I find it astoundingly silly and baffling that the basis for deeming a city safe (or unsafe, as the case may be) depends on incidence of reported rape and other attacks. In a city like Bombay, which I will vouch for as more or less safe for women, for the most bit, I was molested in more ways than one.
Once, I stopped to ask for directions and this creep, who would have been barely 20, said he didn’t know what I was asking about, stuck his hand out, grabbed my breast and ran. Unfortunately for him, my reflexes are still in decent condition. Couple that with roar-inducing rage, I chased him down, got him by his shirt and beat him up in every way I know. Kicked, slapped and punched him with one of these in my hand. Not only is that a hair-ornament, but it’s my most effective protection against molestors. He got away after a bit but I think I damaged him enough for him to remember not to touch a girl for a while, unless she wants to be touched.
On the local train, if I ever got into the compartment where there were also men, more often than not, I dragged an offender out with me. The thing with these guys is most of them don’t start on you till the train stops at a station, when the crowd is moving and shifting. They grab you just as you are getting or they’re getting out, hoping you don’t realise what happens. So I usually am prepared for an attack; drag them out and starting hitting him and/or abusing him till a crowd gathers and takes over. Which is why I love Bombay. A woman’s word is gospel. At least in my experience. As opposed to Bangalore, where the men look at you as if you’ve just offended them by even existing. What a hostile mean city Bangalore has been for me.
Another time in Bombay, a friend sat alone in the first class compartment a little late at night, going towards Town (South Bombay). For those who have done that will know why it’s a bad idea. First class is the perfect option during peak hours but a really bad idea late at night because it’s practically empty. Also after 8 p.m. (or is it 7?) men are allowed in ladies’ compartments as well. So there she was hoping to reach home without any incident, when a man comes and plonks himself opposite her, whips out his penis and starts masturbating in front of her. I can’t remember if I have mentioned this here before but it is the most disgusting story of molestation I heard from someone I know. I am not including child abuse and incest stories because that is way beyond molestation.
Yet another time, I’ve been kissed by someone in a senior position who I worked for. He had joined me and a friend for dinner, conversation went very well. I don’t know if we had similar interests or he was just being polite and attentive. But the evening ended with him insisting he drop us girls. I lived really far off from where we were having dinner and after much protest (I really was perfectly okay with going home alone at 1 a.m. Still am.) we decided it would be churlish not to accept and so we were dropped back. My colleague was dropped off first and as I lived farther, I was alone with him till we got home. We chatted about this and that, I got told I was charming etc etc. And then, just as I said goodnight and was about to step out of the car, after a cursory, polite thank-you peck on the cheek, I was at the receiving end of a full-on adult kiss, with a little tongue thrown in. To say that I did not expect it at all is understatement. To my shame, I didn’t report it. Don’t ask me why. Maybe because there was no violence, maybe because he was always so polite and gentle before and after. Maybe because he did major damage control after that, but I didn’t report it. I am still confused today as to why I didn’t.
And I am not even talking about things like talking to my breasts instead of talking to me, exposing yourself to me or texting me to say when you are drunk that you want to “fuck me” (a colleague in Bombay called Manoj did this. And he found my number through someone else. Unfortunately, I forgot his last name. His poor wife had gone off to have a baby or something), and being hearing lewd things being said as I or some other woman walked past.
My questions are these:
1. What is it that makes some men violate a woman’s personal space and touch her? Who gives them the right to do that and think it’s bloody okay?
2. What is it that separates a molester from a regular man? What makes two men look at a woman and react in two different ways: One checks her out, finds her appealing and stops with that, while the other one reaches out and touches her? What is that essential difference? Lack of control? Lack of decency? Bad upbringing? A disdain for women?
3. Do they also look at the women in their home with the same filth in their eyes with which they look at my breasts or butt or thighs? I mean to ask do these men who touch women without their permission on the streets also touch their women — mothers, wives, sisters — at home? Are these, in effect, perpetrators of incest? Or is it just other women they feel comfortable grabbing?
4. Are women responsible for these men having absolutely no fear to touch, grope, or expose themselves to women? Have years of “just ignore him” behaviour emboldened these men to do as they please? Would a man think twice if he had been beaten by a woman for touching her or passing a lewd comment at her?
5. If I have some male readers, can you please come out on this and tell me what treatment — extreme or otherwise — would deter a man from molesting a woman?
6. Is this restricted to developing countries and others such as Oman alone or do developed countries see molestation in such a daily, on the street, everyday manner?
As a result, when I walk alone, I walk with all my senses on alert. I walk with aggression and hold a bag or something protectively against me, with my elbows ever-ready to shove someone in case they touch me. Do you know how stressful it is to walk like that, protecting yourself constantly, without letting your guard down? Do you realise how painful it is to think that you can’t enjoy a good walk alone for the fear of being touched by a creep? Do you realise how restricting, how rage-inducing, how utterly defeating it is to be that way every day? Do men understand why some women in countries where roadside molestation is rampant hold on to their men tight? Why they ask their men to ask for directions, buy a pack of cigarettes or walk half a step behind, very close to their men?
A friend wrote in to tell me molestation is an issue that needs to be told again and again and again. Men, just ask the women in your life how it makes them feel, even better, think about how you feel when one them is attacked. Women, the more we talk the more courage we can instill in those who won’t retaliate. Will women who read this please take two extra minutes to just comment and not leave before they do? Only for this post, please. If the men (if there are more than three) also can take the time I’ll be very grateful.
I am just trying to understand if India, because it is so varied, has such elements and because by and large we don’t have dress codes, that this happens to women. Does wearing an abaya, being brought up in a mostly segregated society and not having as many freedoms as women from other places have its advantages as far as molestation is concerned?no comments
Hollaback Mumbai is the regional chapter of a Hollaback! movement that fights street harassment globally. We believe that without active participation of youth change cannot happen. For the first time, we are building an opportunity for young college-going students from various parts of the city to partake in this responsibility towards making Mumbai a safe harassment-free space for its citizens.
If you are one of those college-going youngsters who believe in working towards a better Mumbai, this is just the opportunity for you.
The confidence to communicate with a range of community groups, from school children to housewives, and to lead meetings in their respective colleges and neighborhoods.
A commitment to HB Mumbai’s values, vision and mission.
Excellent organizational and communication skills.
Good presentation and analytical abilities
A proven interest in social science research, social media, outreach, fundraising and volunteering.
Self-motivated and driven for change
A passion for women’s and LGBTQ issues
Pro-active and self-driven
Regular access to email to ensure the prompt sending of actions and information to rest of the group.
The willingness to build local links with speakers, volunteers & other HB Mumbai supporters
The willingness to be the first point of contact for new volunteers, to meet them and introduce them to the group
The willingness to support new coordinators and share experiences with them to enable us to grow our volunteer network locally.
An opportunity to become a member of an international movement and connect with international activists and change-makers.
A chance to experience hands-on training on media, communication, research, fundraising and advocacy
An opportunity to become a part of a growing network
Opportunity to contribute and implement your ideas at national and international level
Stories from the field to show how you are helping us empower local people.
Working directly with HB Mumbai main team
Access to Hollaback! resources, webinars and networking with the international team
Peer to peer support from Hollaback chapters across India
Connections with other volunteers in your local community
Meeting/workshop/online resources that would guide on advocacy, fundraising, capacity building, scientific journals etc
If this is the kind of exposure you are looking for, don’t delay, APPLY NOW.
For any enquiries/clarifications, email: email@example.com
Television actress Alefia Kapadia was harassed by a motorist on a busy road in Mumbai’s Dharavi locality on her way home on December 21. She was accompanied by her four-year-old child and a female friend at the time of the incident. The actress who is known for her negative role in television drama series ‘Pyaar Ka Dard Hai’, took to Facebook to narrate the incident.
“He was driving next to my car making lewd comments, inappropriate remarks and eve-teasing my female friend and me. He kept on doing it whiIst I tried to evade and drive away from him, but in vain. He didn’t even care that there was a little toddler with us in the car who got really scared of his stalking. As he went on for a while and I had nowhere to escape in the traffic, I clicked a picture of him and his car to warn him that I will complain against him,” she wrote in a long Facebook post.
“He then got his car real close to mine in vengeance and scratched it right from head to tail. Shocked and raged I stopped my car. He then stopped his car real close to mine, blocking my path. He got out of his car and tried to open my car door and started abusing and yelling. All three of us in the car were really scared. I had thankfully locked the doors and managed to drive out of whatever little space I cud get, before the situation got nastier. I called the Mumbai Police Control room to get help, but before any help could arrive , this monster had escaped.”
The actress then filed an FIR against the motorist and posted on Facebook: “After facing harassment on the roads of Mumbai on Saturday the 21st of Dec, I have lodged an FIR on 22nd dec 2013 under section 509, 279 and 427, against the criminal in the Shahunagar Police Station.”
She also said: “This is a clear example of “Gunda Gardi” happening in a city like Mumbai in broad daylight. It speaks volumes of the nature and audacity of some men who think they can behave anyhow.”
It did not take long for the matter to go viral on social networks and soon a Mumbai tabloid also published a story with a picture of the accused posted by Alefia on Facebook. The incident was reminiscent of another similar incident earlier this year, when a girl travelling in an autorickshaw was harassed by two men on a bike.
Re-posted from http://www.indianexpress.com/
We love this poem because revolution can come in any form and how awe-inspiring it can be.
This is a piece by Monidipa on the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict to re-criminalize homosexual acts among consenting adults and in favor of upholding archaic Section 377 of the Indian penal code that she wrote originally as a Facebook note.
Written by Monidipa Mondal
There was a young lady called Son
Whose parents had but only one
Offspring – not male;
They thought she was lesser to none.
There was a young lady called Dude
Whom boys at the school found so lewd
They ripped up her skirt,
Smashed her face in the dirt
And advised her not to be rude.
There was a young lady called Mister
Who might have been somebody’s sister,
Girlfriend or wife,
But she chose her own life,
So all of the people dismissed her.
“There was a young lady called Sir.
We heard from her angry neighbour
That she had been cravin’
Some three seventy-seven.
We closed in before she could stir…”
There is a young lady called Man
Who will hold out longer than your ban.
She has stared at the face
Of your curse and your grace –
You have done to her all that you can.
(Because I cannot be anywhere today, protesting with my voice or my presence. Because my words, unimpressive as they may be, are the only things I can shape.)
Latest research report published in Times of India today, i.e., 22nd November 2013 shows some startling crime facts of the city of Mumbai. The most startling ones:
1. Undeniably violence against women (VAW) has tremendously increased as shown by a 57% rise from 2011-12 levels.
2. In addition, 43% rise in cases of molestation have been accounted for the 2012-13 period.
3. 24% people don’t feel secure commuting while 22% feel that Mumbai is not safe for women, children and senior citizens even in their own locations.
4. South Central Mumbai (Sion, Chembur, Shivaji Nagar) recorded the most rapes and was perceived the most unsafe by its people.