Just a couple of weeks ago, I read a headline. I could barely finish reading this when i felt as if someone punched me in the gut with all the force in the world and as if my heart dropped to my stomach. The headline was about a 7 year old kid who was brutally assaulted by a convicted sex offender. The kid is no more. Outraged and enraged were the public who delivered instant justice by beating him to death.
Sexual harassment has no bounds and no discriminations. It’s victims include a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a son, an adult, a boy, a girl, a woman and they are victimized at home, at work, in public places and in isolation. The worst part of this is the lone fight the survivors of this crime have to put up with. Often, it’s reduced to an individual or a family’s fight, but never the fight of the society they live in.
It’s not the sympathy that’s needed it’s our collective response as a society that’s needed to stand up to this grave crime and support them in their fight to get their life back.
Our response, the society’s response that is, should not be limited to a blog or a Facebook update or ranting in despair or commenting on news websites, it should somehow be translated into some action or join forces with those who are fighting this at the ground.
I’ spoke to the Collector of Eluru, Mr. Bhaskar garu on July 8th 2015 and he was very much supportive of the proposal i made and is very much interested in taking this idea forward as long as we can make this practical and make it very targeted.
Obviously these are some high level details and depending on the ground situation, this can be made more specific. So if you are from Eluru or know someone from Eluru who can be part of this initiative, we can work together to help come up with very concrete details.
- Kids are the most vulnerable. They are very gullible and can be subjected to abuse even without them realizing.
- Take this message to every home through news papers, radios, cable and/or even street plays
- Establish a helpline for Eluru and publicize in every nook and corner of the city including public transportation, street corners, bus stops, government offices etc.
- Have enough staff to handle the call volumes because the last thing you want is for the helpline not to respond to those who are in urgency
- Offer counseling and provide legal advice where necessary.
- Posters with feel good messages
- Messages about helpline