Mumbai – Fighting the menance of eve-teasing with awareness and better policing

Justice for Keenan Santons and Reuben Fernandez

Justice for Keenan Santons and Reuben Fernandez

The western suburbs police have formed 18 special squads to deal with eve-teasers on the night of December 31. Every team consists of one officer, two men constables and one woman constable. These squads will be deployed in civilian clothes at places frequented by large crowds, such as Juhu chowpatty, Bandstand and Carter Road.

Every year, around this time, there’s a proliferation of the number of eve-teasing and molestation cases, and so the police are taking every possible precaution. Residents have also been told by the police that they can enjoy New Year celebrations, but not at other people’s expense. “We are asking people in our area to maintain a level of decency on New Year’s,” said Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police, Zone IX.

College students team up to tame teasers

In October, two youth Keenan Santons and Reuben Fernandez were killed for protesting against eve-teasing case causing a huge uproar in the city. The Rotaract Clubs of HR College and Mumbai Mulund South have joined hands to start a Chhedega Toh Chodenge Nahi initiative against the menace.

The campaign will start with a street play at Dadar station and will push Mumbaikars to stand up for one another. Women’s helpline 103 will also be promoted along with various self-defense techniques.

The play starts off with a woman being teased and no one standing up for her till the narrator intervenes and asks Mumbaikars to stand up for each other. The second part shows the same woman being harassed but this time, one person takes initiative and steps in. Soon, others join him to stop the menace, with students also helping promote women’s helpline, 103. 

After enacting the play,  girls in the group will enter the second-class ladies’ compartments and discuss legal options that women can pursue to punish offenders. They will also suggest self-defense techniques like spraying deo into the teaser’s eye or poking their eyes with nails to escape a sudden attack. To sustain the campaign and continue creating awareness, these plays will be performed at a new railway station and college every month.

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