Amidst the on-going updates and discussions about Bangalore’s mass molestation on New Year’s Eve, everybody is alarmed. As it happened in one of the neighbouring States, it is only fair to say that the women in Hyderabad are even more alarmed. It’s not like we ever came out of the loop of being fearful and cautious about being attacked anytime, though!
The people in the city have their experiences to share and a message too for all the Hyderabadis.
It is true that the city is not completely safe for women, or men for that matter. But, one cannot disagree that Hyderabad is way safer than most cities in the country. Nevertheless, what most women in the city worry is — What if Hyderabad changes for the worst?
“It was 5 in the evening and I was waiting at the signal to cross the road,” says Hindola Banerjee, who was lunged at and groped by a man. Hindola is now working as a senior content writer in TCS and she takes pride in taking action against the man. “I slapped him and quickly took a picture of him. Only after threatening to inform the police, he left hurriedly,” she adds. Despite this incident, she believes that Hyderabad is a much better place to be in. “Here, people have a sense of respect for women. Though what I encountered was unfortunate, I just hope that the city will not disappoint,” says Hindola and adds: “It’s never safe for anyone, anywhere, anyway.”
Similarly, Archana, a resident of Yousufguda, says that on New Year’s Eve while she and her friends went out, there were drunk people who were screaming and passing comments. “If it wasn’t for the police in mufti we were sure something terrible would have happened,” she adds.
Even men are not exempted from molestation, says Raghu, a resident of Secunderabad, who was inappropriately touched by a man, who asked for a lift.
“To tolerate and ignore is not the answer,” says Additional CP, Swati Lakra. She appeals to everyone to come forward, report and take precautions by using apps like Hawk Eye and other facilities provided by SHE Teams. “These days, women are more confident and so the increase in reports has encouraged us to tighten the security better,” she adds.
On behalf of every woman in the country, our Hyderabad women hope that the city will not lose its dignity, remains sensible and change for better, and not for the worst. “What’s happening around is sheer horror but for the city there’s hope,” says Archana.
It is a social responsibility to continue in keeping the city as a safer zone for everyone.
(Some names have been changed on request)