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Whatsapp groups, fake identity, razor blade, red chili powder and what not! Only to return back home safely!

Know how the little town solitary girls and women defend themselves

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Smriti Aditya

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 (15:16 IST)
It’s not always easy to ask questions and get their answers. More precisely, to face the answers. Women fear, everybody knows it, but often they themselves don't know precisely what they fear. They want safety, but from whom? This invisible fear and apprehension has now almost shrouded her whole being and engulfed her, despite all the lofty claims of safety and liberty.

I see a fear and trembling on all those faces, no matter how old or young they are. But I also see a determination. These girls want to see through this terror, they want to emerge at the other end of it victorious.

Let's see what some of these little town and village girls have been doing to keep themselves safe in a hostile world!

Story 1

Anusha Sharma, Swati Yadav, Simmi Beniwal, Shreya Chauhan, Sneha Solanki, Paridhi Patidar, Vishakha Parmar, Juhi Karma, this is a group of girls, who travel daily, all the way to Indore from Mhow, for either work or study. They came across each other in their up-down journeys only. They work hard, but they also need to be aware of their safety.

When these girls get late in the evening, on one hand the same fear starts to haunt them, while on the other hand constant phone calls from home also irritate them like anything. But the immediate problem they face is how to get a seat in the bus and how to make sure that the person sitting beside has no wrong intentions. So they have formed a Whatsapp group and added four more girls to their contact. Now they all remain in contact and make sure that they travel together or at least remain in touch.

Digital India has just made their lives easier. The name of the Whatsapp group is "Daily up-down friends." However, the girls are trying to find a better title for the group. Can we have a picture of them? No, they are not comfortable with the clicks yet. The narrative is consistent with their fears, isn’t it.


Story 2

Hema Chaurasiya lives in a working hostel. She was married at the tender age of 18. But her husband Chandan died only after a year. As expected, all hell broke loose and she was termed unlucky for the family. She had to return back to her father's home where she decided to pursue her studies. She denied living like a widow.

Not only that, when she felt that men are trying to woo her, fancying their chances and taking her for an easy shot, she started wearing all signs of a married woman like vermillion and ornaments. Obviously, this infuriated her family members beyond limits, but she had to find some way in order to live like a normal human being.

Talking to me, she accepted that she is wearing signs of a married woman only to keep men at bay and said that she doesn't want to get hooked with any men anymore. She has finished her B-ed and now doing M-ed.

Story 3

A little story with a tinge of irony. My good friend Meera's niece Babli is talking to her friends and in an almost boasting way she says that she keeps red chili powder and sharp razor blade in her purse, because, who knows when one can run into a jerk with wrong intentions and one may need to use the arsenal! Some other girl says, I don't need them, I know Karate! A giggle follows.

But the light hearted banter reveals a pattern of sad truth. Whatsapp groups, fake identity as a married woman, razor blade, red chili powder, Karate technique and what not! All this only to roam freely on the streets, to be able to leave home for the office and return back home safely! A big big irony this is!

Kabira has said : "Whosoever bears a physical form, suffers unfailingly!" But for some reasons, it appears, that us women have got the larger share of those sufferings!

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