October 3, 2005

Pepper sprays keep women safe in Bangalore

In Unsafe Bangalore, Cops Helpless, Commission Headless

By Seethalakshmi S and Pushpa Narayan/TNN

Bangalore: Bangalore records the highest number of dowry deaths in the state, the highest number of suicides by women in the country, sees 50 per cent rise in marital violence, unaccountable incidents of rape and eve-teasing. If you still think Bangalore is a safe city for women, then think again.
   Worse, agencies formed by the state government to help women in distress have virtually collapsed. If the Karnataka State Commission for Women is headless, the all-women police stations have been reduced to counselling centres making Bangalore achieve the dubious distinction of suicide capital for women. For the record, 57 per cent of the suicide cases registered are women.
   That brings us to the question again. How safe is Bangalore? Working women, students and homemakers returning home late in the evening have to cope with ‘prowlers’ in the capital’s not-so-women friendly streets.
   “From the very looks, the laugh and the gestures from the men on the roads, I know they are making obscene remarks. I try to ignore, but when I feel that they are going to physically harm me, I raise an alarm and call for help. I also make it a point to carry a huge bag for defence,’’ says Naiyya Saggi, president, Student Bar Association at National Law School.
   She adds: “A few days ago, my friend was surrounded by a group of men and being persuaded to get into a car. Mercifully, she ran away before anything worse could happen.’’
   With little help coming from the by-standers and with inadequate police, women are forced to arm themselves with pepper sprays, knives and jumbo safety pins.
   Naiyya’s fear reflects in every woman, young or old. Many, like 22-year-old Meera working for a BPO, hate to compare Bangalore with Mumbai or Delhi. “I live here and there are problems. I can’t compare it with other cities to see if trouble here is minor or major.’’
   Adds Nupur Chatterjee, a student of Jyoti Nivas College: “To me it’s a major problem. I am planning to buy a pepper spray that can come in handy, because help never comes by. And when it does, it’s too late.’’

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Open letter to Mr. President, Prime Minister and Parliament of India.

Concerning incident that happened on the Bangalore Airport at night 31
08,01 09 air flight nr 191 at 01 45 am.

Dear Mr President, Prime Minister and Members of Parliament,

I would like to ask if 23 year old women from Andra Pradesh a citizen of
India going to Poland, invited by a Polish citizen, holding a LEGAL
Indian passport and Shengen visa to 20 European countries, an Air
ticket, accompanied by a person who invited her to Poland commits any

Miss Bhavani Bolle has been detained at the airport for no apparent
reason and humiliated. She was detained for over 16 hours, questioned
and bullied and treated as a common criminal by the Immigration Officers
at Bangalore Airport. She was restrained and her leave from India was
made impossible.

Is such behavior of Immigration Officers intention of Authorities in India? Is it a crime that a 23 year old woman from Andra Pradesh wants to take a chance to visit another country, obtain better qualifications and get a new perspective of the world? That is the impression I got after talking to Immigration Officers dressed in smart suits.They may have just ruined a young women’s life with a smile on their faces – today I got the news that Miss Bawani Bolle has tried to commit a suicide and is in hospital at the moment fighting for life. Who is responsible for what happened and who will be held accountable? Did the 2 Officers act in the light of the law or were they waiting for a bribe? It seams unbelievable to me that such a developing country would accept such behavior from people who are supposed to represent India to the outside world.

I hope that appropriate action will be taken by the authorities to ensure that the life of Miss Bhavani Bolle will not be ruined and her health given back to her.

Looking forward to a reply.

Yours sincerely,

M.E.v. Motz 05-09-2008
Matejki 20
72-600 Swinoujscie Poland
e-mail: 2omtatsat@wp.pl