On the eve of October 11th, the UN International Day of the Girl Child, our Mumbai correspondent Amol Lalzare decided to contribute a video of grassroots voices speaking on the everyday violations that a Mumbai girl has to face.
“When people talk about Mumbai, they talk about the ‘crowd’. You cannot escape the crowd,” says Amol. “And this very ‘crowd’ is the sheep’s clothing for eve teasers across Mumbai.”
“Saying ‘men’ or ‘boys’ would be too broad, saying ‘louts’ would be too narrow but somewhere in between there is a cross section of the male population in the city that suffers from this ‘condition’ of eve-teasing. Guys can’t seem to walk past a woman without passing a comment and sending out a wolf whistle.”
“Such people may be irritants at best but they are a constant one. They ruin public spaces for women, make them feel unsafe and unnatural. I know people who think what they’re doing is essentially harmless and who will endlessly justify their boorish behavior but do they ever think from a girl perspective? Have they ever asked their mothers, sisters and friends how they would feel if subjected to such behavior? Have they ever asked themselves why they are ‘anal’ about it?”
“Why can’t they just walk over to a girl they like, introduce themselves and say a simple ‘hello’?
“Why can’t they take ‘no’ for an answer without getting their ego in between?”
“Have they never met a woman before?”
“Why are they having a prolonged adolescence?”
“Are they sexually repressed?”
“Will driving the women away from public spaces help their condition?”
“These are just questions from the top of my head. The problem of eve teasing is everywhere. It’s so widespread it is frankly terrifying and it seems to have roots going deep. I have made a video so people could start talking about it. And it’s not just the girls. I also want the boys to start talking about the deep insecurity that they seem to be walking around with.”
“What happened to good, old chivalry, Mumbai? What happened to the days when the Mumbai ‘crowd’ was so secure that you could walk up to a lady and say ‘hello’?