Rape is a social evil present in our society and can only be destroyed with collective efforts of civil society and governing bodies of our country. But, there are a lot of people out there who think that curbing the freedom of women and imposing strict rules on them can bring down the cases of rapes in India.

Singing the same song, Karnataka State Women’s Development Corporation chairperson Bharathi Shankar ignited a controversy during a discussion on women’s safety where she said that women get raped at “unwanted parties, but not at jatres (melas)”.

Bharti was speaking at a panel discussion on women’s safety during the launch of ‘A Billion Eyes’ campaign by Bengaluru Political Action Committee (BPAC) and Bangalore City police. The campaign calls upon bystanders to intervene and to help actively and safely when any crime takes place nearby.

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Bharathi spoke this while answering an audience question whether women’s empowerment was equal to women’s safety. After listing measures for women’s safety, Bharathi said, “When women go to jatre, do they get raped? They do get raped at unwanted parties.”

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She did not stop here and compared women’s safety issues to garbage segregation, saying one can’t blame the government for problems in society. “About garbage problem, as a citizen, I should segregate waste first. If I don’t do it and keep blaming the department or corporation, what’s the use?” quoted a TOI report.

It’s shockingly surprising to hear that a chairperson responsible for development and welfare of women keeps such views towards the heinous crime.

“When women go to jatre, do they get raped? They do get raped at unwanted parties.” to this question hope someone talks some sense into her and let her know that yes rapes also happen at fairs or even in homes. Possibilities of a woman getting raped do not depend upon any event neither it depends upon the dress a woman wears. The only responsible person for a rape is a rapist who should be dealt strictly according to the laws.

And yes women’s safety is not equivalent to garbage segregation!

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