With the recent incident of a women professor set ablaze by a stalker in Maharashtra’s Wardha district leaves the safety of women in dilemma. The accused attempted to murder the young 25 years old woman lecturer by setting her on fire with petrol and fled leaving the spectators stunned who helped the professor extinguish the fire by throwing water on her and immediately took her to the nearby hospital.
This incident has left the community across disillusioned. Foregone conclusion against women is a compounding problem that begins with women receiving angry anonymous threats and ends with women fearing for their physical safety at their place of work.
Attacks against women in India are rising with almost everyday crime being at par because of no strict action against the accused is taken. Imprisonment has a frivolous impact on the accused. Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s home minister, Anil Deshmukh addressed the incident saying anyone engaging in such heinous crimes would be dealt with strictly.
The case has been fast-tracked to ensure the speedy conviction of the accused. The horrifying incident has left an indelible mark in the minds of people and sparked a debate on the effectiveness of women’s safety across the country.
Under the 362A penal code that states whoever causes permanent or partial damage or deformity to, or burns or maims or disfigures or disables, any part or parts of the body of a person or causes grievous hurt by throwing acid on or by administering acid to that person, or by using any other means with the intention of causing or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause such injury or hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and with fine.
Undoubtedly, major amendments have been made to update the laws dealing with crimes against women but a lot more can still be done as such crimes are being timed and again repeated proving that women are still not safe in the country. Safety of working women has been a crucial scenario across but only self-defence can be of effective help at times when you are alone. I would also recommend all the working women to use simple safety measures like sharing your location with your loved ones to have someone in touch immediately when required specifically while travelling alone or during late hours. If you face any kind of harassment at work place or you are uncomfortable with any issues to report to the police immediately instead of suffering it monotonously. Holding up a mirror to ourselves can be an effective measure other than always venting against the government.
– Aishwarya Adgaonkar
Director, Adgaonkar Silk & Sarees
Not a day goes by where we don’t hear of the news of a crime against women in India. It is extremely painful to watch the status of women’s safety in India, especially in a country where women are given the stature of goddesses; it is a shame that rapes still take place every day. The first and the last very important measure to ensure a women’s security is that we as mother and sisters must teach the boys in our families to respect women from an early age. And secondly, women must be taught self-defence techniques and last but the least laws must be made more stringent relating to crimes against women.
– Sharanya Shetty Founder, Sharan for animals