We’re hearing Nirbhayas dying every day. Yet manage to act naive. But not everyone is like us. We bring to you, the story of one such hero Dipesh Tank who had promised Nirbhaya to do all he can to secure women and is living up to his promise now.With the help of his sunglasses with inbuilt cameras which records the acts of the perverts, the man is on a mission to make Mumbai local trains safer.
Initial Days: Once living in slums of Mumbai, he has seen his mother, Rekha Tank work hard with her catering business to meet the ends for his father’s health issues didn’t allow him to work much. He himself is a college drop out and started working to add to his family income. To begin with, he worked in a computer manufacturing company and learned much about them.
War Against Railway Rowdies :
In 2012, the gruesome Nirbhaya gangrape and murder incident took place, which shook him. He promised Nirbhaya that he will create a safer space for women around him.Dipesh grew up seeing his mom paying extra attention to the female employees. Seeing women being harassed in Mumbai locals he too Came up with a unique idea.Thinking his mom too travels in the same locals, he has set out on this mission of making traveling for women as safer as possible.
His journey was no cake walk.
In August 2013, Dipesh along with 9 other friends started this campaign called ‘War Against Railway Rowdies’ (WARR) and started a survey at Malad station with a questionnaire to know how safe women feel at the station or in the train.“85% of the women told us that they feel unsafe at the station where they are vulnerable to regular sexual harassment,” Dipesh was quoted by TheBetterIndia.
A copy of the survey was sent to RPF, GRP, Prime Minister and the President of India. The WARR team also kept video recording the acts at the station and posting them on social media. After six months of continuous efforts, finally, WARR got the support of the railway police and 40 constables were allotted to coordinate at each station starting from Malad.Along with the 40 cops, a two-day drive was conducted where the offenders including people who perform stunts on trains, hit other passengers were also nabbed apart from those who were harassing women.
Wearing sunglasses with inbuilt HD cameras he travels in those trains and keeps a sharp eye on the defaulters, i.e the ones passing lame comments at women touching them inappropriately, or even masturbating at their sight.
When he had first reported such a crime to the police he was not believed. To avoid it he catches the crime scenes then and there.Now Dipesh and his team travel in local trains and take help of the police helpline in nabbing the offenders.They contact at the helpline number 9833331111 and give them the exact location of rowdies and then nab them.
As of today, the total count of offenders caught by them stands at 150. In an interview with The Indian Feed, Dipesh informed that not all the offenders are jailed, instead, the team and the cop tries to contact their parents and make them understand what they were doing is wrong.
He shares an incidence where he had caught two teens red-handed, they were confronted by the police. Though no case was filed against them, they were seen traveling peacefully the next time.
In his exclusive talk with The Indian Feed, Dipesh says how the women he helps don’t even get a chance to know his identity and yet his Noble work goes on. He too stops the ones showing stunts or hanging over trains. He thanked his friends too who have been helping him in this direction.
He faces threats and has been beaten by eve teasers but nothing has ever refrained him from his mission.
NGO Youth For People :
On 11 July 2006, Mumbai train bombings took place which was a series of 7 bomb blasts in which 209 people were killed and over 700 were injured.After the blast, Dipesh rushed to help the casualties of the blast. He and his brother had served them all night and donated blood in municipality hospital. The next day he decided to form an NGO which helps people in such conditions.He started his NGO ‘Youth for People’, that rescues citizens in need of help. Everyone in the NGO keeps a day job and yet manages to reach out to people across the country.
What do you think of this initiative by Dipesh? That if all of us had something like this to contribute, the world today could have been a much better and safer place to dwell, isn’t it? Then remember, it’s never too late to do the good. So let’s play our part.
(All images sourced from the timeline of Dipesh Tank)