With mass molestation of girls by New Year revelers in Bengaluru and its rerun in Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar with a girl has sparked debate about women in Okhla about the hard times they face in the locality facing stalkers.
Girls lamented that once a safe place for women, several cases are surfacing where youngsters have been found roaming around on streets stalking or passing lewd remarks against them.
A girl shared her ordeal with OKHLATIMES.COM requesting anonymity. “I would like to report a few examples of my own… a few days back I was walking near Tikona Park and there were three boys hardly aged 12 on bikes all together, they passed by me and shouted “C…” There are always boys on bikes who would see you coming from the opposite direction and direct the bike towards you in speed and then turn to the side at last moment, to scare the hell out of you and get a reaction, going out and not having a man or a boy sing while they stare at you is impossible,” she wrote.
This is not the only incident in the locality as girls said most of the time their tormentors are minors and in many cases regular sexual offenders, who go about the business without fearing for any retribution.
A woman said after sunset it is difficult to get out in my street as louts roam around and stand in one corner and at times in the middle of the road and stare at women as if they have never seen them before.
“And if you object to these staring then certainly a fight will break out. As they are well organised and coming from near places to Delhi nobody can win with them. Unfortunately, many women in their houses wear hijab. The perception is that if a girl is not wearing hijab then she is of lose character. Worse, these lumpen elements who love to stalk and ogle at women walking on the streets get support from their elderly family members as they are first to come out to rescue them and pointing fingers at the girls’ character,” said a resident on the condition of anonymity.
A father of a teenage girl once told OKHLATIMES.COM that how he is embarrassed to go out with his daughter as boys standing on roadsides ogle at her as if they have never seen a girl and at times they even pass lewd remarks. And in some cases fighting breaks out as they register their protest against such acts.
Shockingly, as the menace grows religious organisations, self proclaimed activists and NGOs are maintaining a silence over the issue. The common understanding is that a campaign should be launched in the locality to create awareness among youths and parents how to avoid such things and make women feel safe on roads and streets.
A resident lamented that how in Shaheen Bagh youths are found hanging around when the school closes aiming to torment schoolgirls.
However, many residents don’t agree and said Okhla continues to be a safe place and such incidents could be an aberrations.
CAPTION: Representational cover photo