As we keep debating over how safe our country is for women, here is another incident that shows us the mirror.This incident from Mumbai shows how unsafe public transport is for women.A 22-year-old Mumbai woman shared her ordeal on Facebook and the post has gone viral since then.In the post the woman who is currently a post-graduate sociology student in Bengaluru, recalls the horror and claims that a man publicly masturbated at her.

The worst part is that when she complained to the railway police they laughed off her complaint.The incident took place on 15th June but the woman decided to share her trauma on Facebook on Thursday.The woman was travelling back to her home in Mulund after meeting her friends in Borivali. Boarding a Dadar-bound local, she sat in ladies compartment which was separated from the handicap compartment by just a railing.
The culprit was standing in the handicap compartment.

Here is the post that will make your blood boil and will fill you with disgust

“Mumbai
Train from Borivali to Dadar
3.38 pm that was delayed. Picture taken at 4.09 pm

I’m sitting in the train, going back home after meeting friends who live in Borivali. I’m in the ladies compartment, there are about 6 other women. I’m sitting on the side that can see the handicapped section of the train, but with railings in between. On my left, there is another girl. We both are listening to music. In the handicapped section is a man. I’m looking at my phone and I see him waving at the girl through the railing. He’s put his hands through and has reached half the distance to the girl’s face. I cannot hear him, I’m wearing headphones.

source : woman’s FB post

I reduce the music, out of curiosity and also to see whether she needs help, I do not turn. Looking down at my phone, I hear him calling her ma*arch*d. I heard it at least 6 times in the 30 seconds I listened. I looked at him, our eyes met and I looked down again.

There are many mentally challenged people who travel on the train regularly and I’m used to many of them cursing, so I thought him to be one of them and let it go.The split second where our eyes locked, he took the chance to come to me. He came to my side of the compartment and put his hands through just like he had done before.He called me the same, another 6-10 times.

I looked up, and just kept looking at him for 20 seconds. Thinking of what I should do.Meanwhile, he puts his hand down, whips out his penis and grins at me, he starts masturbating. For those who know me also know that I have seen this too many times. Maybe that prepared me to do what I tried next. I was rational, calm.
And I asked the other women to tell me the police helpline and also yelled that this man was showing me his privates.

source

They gave me the helpline. I had just run out of credit in the morning, so the girl he was waving at first gave me the phone. I called up the helpline.The next paragraph is a summary of that conversation:
I told the person on the line all the details. The train was just approaching Kandivli. Which compartment, what time. All of it.Then I told him that this person had also called us what he did. And then the person on the helpline laughed. He found it funny.I asked him whether they’d pick this person up at Kandivli.

He cut the call.
I’m not sure what happened. When Kandivli came, the man got out of the compartment and started walking towards the doors of the ladies compartment. 6 women who could easily take him down, started yelling. I stood up and walked towards the door. He told me he would rape me. I told him to do it. (I only did so because I knew he wouldn’t and because the time permitted me, so did space.)

Learnings :
1. Our helplines. Do they really help? Or is equality for women just a trend for marketing and PR?
2. Rape is supposed to scare me. Stop being scared by it. Stop making it a big deal. Somewhere there, it will stop.
Don’t take me wrong.
Rape IS a big deal. But physically, mentally for the pain, it causes. not because the honor of this society lies in my vagina. Not because I will be SCARED by the prospect because my life will be ruined.
I once even called a suicide helpline that didn’t pick up. The irony.”

According to a TOI report, Deputy commissioner of police (WR) Purushottam Karad said they are verifying the matter and are going through the complainant’s call records to identify what exactly was done when the call came.

As pointed out by the girl the incident again rises a lot of questions about women safety status in our country. And the alleged behaviour by the helpline authorities is shameful, they need to do their job properly instead of making fun of rape threats.We hope that the authorities track down the culprit and serve proper punishment to him.

Kudos to the girl for opening up and standing against the threats thereby setting an example for other girls out there.

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