Friday, August 29, 2008

Neeru Malhotra

Once in a bus, a very old man, around 60 was sitting besides me and he kept on pushing his elbow into me, so by the end of 10minutes I was almost off the seat.. sitting just on the edge. Generally in situations like this I do respond but in this case I was concerned that I don't know how people will respond if I accuse such an old man. These two women sitting on the back seat (they were around 45 year old and looked like village women)told the man "ladki kuch bol nahi rahi to tu kuch bhi karta rahega" (the girl is not saying anything that does not mean you keep doing anything you want). I was embarrassed and did not have the courage to thank both the women as I felt that I should have spokn out in the first place.

Have you ever experienced street sexual harassment and made a scene and not have the public support you?

Yes, there have been times when I have been sexually harassed in a bus, and a bus generally has around 60-70 people but nobody ever responded. I feel really frustrated at such times, and one time I even rebuked the whole bus shouting at the top of my voice on all the people in the bus for not responding.

How would you like the public to show support when you experience street sexual harassment?

I do not expect the public to come up in huge numbers and fight off the guilty, but atleast coming up and asking that what the issue is. Nobody in today's world is expected to get into somebody else's mess but they should also realize that even a little support from atleast one person gives more strength.

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