India has been going through quite a transformation in recent years. With the rise in income and economy doing well, we would have assumed that assault and rape cases would be diminished. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it seems like every other day something horrible is happening to our daughters and mothers. We turn a blind eye because we can’t do anything about it.
The sexual assault crisis that we’re facing isn’t one that’s designed by choice, but rather by ignorance. The people responsible for catching criminals aren’t equipped with the right technology or infrastructure. They can’t even catch the smallest thieves in their locales. The police may just be a figurehead whose main job is to act tough.
Another reason why we’re just not able to do anything is that leadership isn’t taking this matter seriously. It all comes down to how the country is run, both from a financial perspective and a sociological one. We can’t have a large group of people facing a problem as severe as sexual assault and not expect some form of outrage. For politicians, it’s becoming a game in that they run away or avoid answering questions.
Heck, some of them resort to brutal animalism. They blame the victim or say something ignorant like – “Boys will be boys”. We need to grow up as a country and it starts with the most rural of sectors where girls are still seen as a liability.
This is where our leadership needs to step up and actually make a difference in the lives of the country. Regardless of whether there is any budget or not left over, the government needs to work with corporations and allow them incentives to develop schools and campaigns to create change. Right now, it’s just being supported by a few NGOs who are fighting tirelessly to create an impact on one community at a time. At this rate, we might see gender-equality and security by the year 2600. We’re not ready, as a nation, to accept that we have a problem when it comes to sexual assault.
At the end of the day, we need to do all we can to support causes that directly impact the lives of our women. We can support them through donations, as well as connect them with sponsors who can help out. Any little effort can be huge when it comes to providing more attention to this sphere. Whatever your field may be, you can make a huge impact on the cause.
E.g. if you’re an accountant, you can offer to audit the books of these NGOs for free. If you’re a telecom company, you can provide free lines for call-centers for better reporting. We can all do our parts, and we need to step up one level at a time.
The main problem here is ignorance. We want to ignore the problem and hope that it will go away. That’s why we become over-cynical and start to wander off when we hear about sexual assault cases and violence. Since we can’t do much about the problem, we don’t really care about it too much. This is exactly where we need to stop, take action and prepare steps to actively change the way that we think, act and behave.
The next step is to train the ways that our boys think. The more proactive the parents are when it comes to sexual assault, the more we can change as a nation. It may not happen overnight, but a few years to a decade after we’re creating boys that support women and not hurt them. Even when it comes to our education or work, we repeatedly discriminate boys from girls. We don’t empower any initiative that women aim to start, and we repeatedly diminish the power that they hold.
It’s not having a matriarchal or patriarchal society; it’s all about opening up new economic opportunities for people.
The solution is expensive, time-consuming and won’t show results for decades. However, we need to do something right now before we make the problem worse and hope that our weakest few are able to seek the help they need. Right now, we think that sexual assault is a cost of being alive. We need to make it so that no one can ever touch a girl in a way that she didn’t want to.