Fascinating Food for the pretentious soul

We were sipping Iced Tea at one of those organic cafe’s and I was unsure if He was right for me- it was only when he asked me out for Rasam that I thought “HE IS THE ONE”. Had he suggested kale chips with an avocado dip and quinoa salad- we would not have had a second date.

I am trying to say that I am not comfortable with fancy flair when none is needed- especially when it comes to basic food. Don’t get me wrong I love what many chefs do, the micro chemistry magic they do with their molecular gastronomy- the wafer that look like a banana and the bread that has trapped the soul of beet root and dill…its very … fascinating. Yes! I said fascinating ( that is what we say when we want to say ‘This screwed up logic needs a therapist but we can’t say it so we say fascinating). However, most of the chefs that use local produce to create new things are innovating but there is a new breed of super expensive foods that may lack taste but don’t lack tact.

Pumped by some invisible marketing machine, foods seems to have a short time at the super food shelf. I am amazed that almost all ingredients that have been easily available and  traditionally consumed for decades have been shunned for being bad carbs, unhealthy fats, unnecessary sugar. Instead we have difficult to pronounce, never -before-seen products that seem to be the only savior from everything form cancer to constipation. Suddenly, the only way to be healthy is to eat Chia seeds with Palm fruit oil and a grain that you can not pronounce!  I understand that we have globalized our food plate and we can choose nutrition from all over the world but is that why we are consuming too many New things?

There must be a correlation of the super expensive, wholefood, organic cafes and the number of Instagram accounts because I don’t think that there are as many photos of people as there are photos of sliced avocado over salad. Few days ago I Read an article that talked of the  evils of hipster cafesI have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more… But how can young people afford to eat like this?  Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house.

I used to love my Grande Starbucks( why Short, Tall, Grande, Venti and Trenta just say S,M,L,XL,ADDICT) but then I counted that I was spending at least AED 20 a day on almost everyday- which was AED 600 a month and that converted a return ticket from Dubai to India/Thailand/Georgia/Oman and many other wonderful places that I wanted to go to but never had the money to. So I decided to quit, I bought two tumblers (Grande and Venti)and made my own coffe/tea and carried it with me. To answer the question that you must have thought of- No, I am not writing from Thailand. But I did save money and I am drinking lot less coffee.


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Nothing is Fabulous anymore…is it?

Nowadays you can go anywhere in the world in a few hours, and nothing is fabulous any more- RD

How true I thought. Few days ago while talking about our grandmothers me and my husband (and more people who had grandmothers) said that they had a talkative generation, loved story telling. Also, they were amazed when they saw a club, a car, dancing because it was a shocking way to live ones life- totally opposite of how they were raised and how they imagined life to be. In the middle of that conversation someone said- they had ACs in every room in 1960, when most places did not even have electricity in India, they had AC. to which i remarked- yes but i don’t remember when i saw AC for the first time- there must have been a first time  but i don’t remember it. because it was not fabulous, it was just another thing in the house.

And this convenience of commodities has seriously diminished (not killed) the joy of being awestruck. I remember my grandfather telling us stories of how his father had a radio, it was kept out of their reach and they waited to be alone with the marvel machine so that they could touch the glorious machine that had music and news. I look at my one year old- there is absolutely no such thing in the house, or our lives that she can NOT touch. I wonder if we are raising her to be absolutely comfortable in her house or if we are just not discipline her enough. But I can always digress to introspect my parenting skill…focusing on the though of  how things are not fabulous anymore

I look at the words we use now a days, everything is AWESOME!!! yes with as many as three exclamations. Is there a reason why my social media news feed features updates of MIND BLOWING soups, AMAZING naps, KILLER discounts? I wonder how was your mid blown with an ice creme? I can understand that they can be truly delicious, but does it actually do more? Do enough to say that it blew your mind? There must be some moments that really, truly add perspective to our life, that motivate us, or bring a new sense of thrill/joy/happiness/joy/shame….something. It seems that collective lack of vocabulary and an obsessive need to experience everything in a superlative mode has made everything stupendous.

So I sit and wonder when was the last time something truly amazing blew my mind. Having a child  and seeing her grow has many moments, but they are personal and incomparable, so I will try to recall memories other than those of my daughter smiling or walking or shushing me.

There was this one time, while driving from Mumbai to Goa, early morning we landed at a beach- it was empty and there was a beautiful twilight. There was no one there and it was divine- like God herself photo shopped the visual.

The first time I dived, breathing under water, seeing those magnificent creatures – it was magical.

There was a government notice board in Bhutan, it stated that the monastery was constructed by an Indian hermit who flew on a tigress for constructions. Since everyone considered it to be a valid method for developing real estate at mountain cliff – I was amazed.

And most recently, I saw my father’s eye shine… he was trying to chase my daughter. there was nothing extraordinary in that play session but I saw a shine in his eyes that transcended happiness and joy.

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“love” makes hand knitted woolens warmer

The women walked inside the metro capsule and opened a small bag and when those trained fingers started creating this network of loops and knots it was like magic in front of us. The co passengers turned into an audience as everyone admired what she was doing, how dexterously her fingers seem to direct the needles to the right loop and shift the yarn to the right place. I turned and saw the look on the faces of young girls starting at the women in awe, it got me thinking ‘why don’t I see women knitting anymore?’

For sometime I presumed that women were still knitting, I just was not looking but then I tried to notice if people wore hand knitted sweaters and that confirmed the sorry fact that the art of knitting was missing from our daily lives. I have warm memories of grandmothers, mother and aunts (the ones who really loved u) knitting sweaters and socks and caps and if you were their favorite, you could have a pick for the colour or additional pompoms. The presence of branded, factory made woolen makes the act seem ridiculously time consuming but nothing coming out of a bag will ever be half as warm as the sweater that was custom made me for when I was seven and whose length was increased as I grew taller. The dark blue one with a rabbit, the green one with a duck, the black one with a smile face (that was hiding the a burn mark) and the red one which itched a bit much…

i knitOne day in office I told someone that I will go home and knit, his expression changed as if I spoke of an unnatural act “you knit?” I said yes, “You do know that people knit?” He said yes, his grandmother did and after her then no one thought of knitting for him. For the next few minutes he spoke of his grandmother and wondered if his kids (future kids, yet to be born) would feel that kind of a connection to his mother. Knitting was perhaps the simplest way to let someone know how much they meant to you, you put in your effort, time and mind in creating something unique from scratch.

I spent few hours with an elderly couple and I saw an octogenarian turn into a kid, insisting that he could roll the yarn in the ball in no time because his mother trained him to do so ever since he was a kid. His wife corrected his style and his grandkids giggled as he placed the yarn on his knees and rolled the yarn telling them, “I did this six- seven decades ago and I still remember it! In those times mother and grandmothers used to knit, we did not have the concept of ready made woolens.”

Despite my limited knowledge of the art (all I can make is a scarf) for me, the act of knitting is a strange combination of relaxation and activism, of protest and tradition. Over the years, I have thrown away many old clothes except the ones that were knitted for me. Knowing that the same scarf can be bought easily for very little money does not affect the decision because when I knit the scarf after selecting the yarn and the pattern and spend time on it, it becomes a special act of affection.

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We know the art of making Phulkari, not making money from it

CHANDIGARH: Women in Ramgarh, 20 km from here, earn a meagre Rs.500 for intricate Phulkari work — the colourful embroidery done on dupattas — that fetches Rs.3,000 in the open market. “It takes 70-80 days to finish an entire Phulkari,” says Karnail Kaur who does Phulkari work to supplement her income as a peon. Karnail is one of 30 women from Ramgarh who do Phulkari work for agents, who in turn sell the dupattas at showrooms in the nearby cities.



However, not everyone in the village does Phulkari for extra income. Bhago, who supplies milk to the village and has been doing Phulkari work for over 20 years, says that the money from Phulkari helps her run the house.

“I make up to Rs.1,000 from Phulkaris each month. Earlier I used to work alone, but now my daughters also work with me,” she says as she shows you the Phulkari work done by her 15-year-old daughter.

Bhago adds that doing Phulkari work for 20 years has taken a toll on her health and reasons that the agents, whose only contribution is procuring raw material (worth Rs.200) for the artisans, must pay them more. However, she remains ignorant of the real market price; her estimate of the market price for Phulkari dupattas stands at a modest Rs.1,000 perdupatta. The Punjab Government, on its part, has only created self-help groups of agents who act as intermediaries between the artisans and the showroom owners.

A senior official at the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) says, “PSIEC is a recognised export house and we market handicrafts through our chain of emporia called ‘Phulkari’. Our basic aim is to help artisans market their produce. We help them in forming self-help groups and we also train them at our training centres in Hoshiarpur and Patiala.”

Huge profit for agents

But in most cases the group members are agents and not artisans. Daljeet Kaur, member of a self-help group started by PSIEC, says, “I provide women with the raw material and after paying for their labour sell the Phulkaris to PSIEC and other showrooms in cities.” Her profit margin, unlike the artisans’ who earn a maximum of Rs.15,000 a year, stretches to Rs.2 lakh annually.



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Strengthen, not privatise

Pressure mounts as more sections oppose the proposal to privatise medical services in Maharastra

Opposing Maharashtra Government’s proposal to privatise key services in medical college hospitals, activists and non-government organisations have come together to demand better management of medical facilities instead of privatisation.

The Maharashtra government has recently floated a proposal to privatise radiology services (like CT scan, MRI etc.) and laboratory services in 14 Government Medical College hospitals, and all district hospitals across Maharashtra. “Under this proposal the public health system, which is already neglected by the State government will collapse completely, leaving poor people at the mercy of profit-seeking private hospitals. It will adversely affect not only poor people but also the middle-class, for whom private healthcare is becoming increasingly unaffordable these days,” Dr. Abhijit More a co-convenor of the Jan Arogya Abhiyan said.

During a State-level convention in Mumbai social organizations, health-activists, healthcare professionals across Maharashtra expressed their disapproval and anger, against the State’s proposal.

Speaking at the convention Dr. Abhay Shukla, coordinator – Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives (SATHI) pointed towards larger design for privatisation of the healthcare system in the State. “Maharashtra State Government is planning to hand over huge sums of public money to insurance companies and large private hospitals through a flawed Private-Public Partnership. ”

The convention saw concerned medical health workers vociferously expressing their concern about the public health system, “Planning Commission is set to double the public health expenditure in India from the current 1.2 per cent to 2.5 per cent of GDP during the 12th Five Year Plan. This would mean an additional budgetary availability to central funds of more than Rs.80, 000 crore annually for National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scheme,” said Dr Anant Phadke, Jan Arogya Abhiyan.

He added, “Maharashtra Government should take advantage of this situation by coming up with innovative ways, schemes to strengthen public health system rather than resorting to privatisation in a covert attempt to reap profits through liaison with corporate players at the cost of peoples’ healthcare needs. The so-called PPP has no real economic, social, managerial justification. ”

“The high level Expert Group formed by the Planning Commission is recommending a system of Universal Health care for every citizen with strong emphasis on strengthening our public health system and abolition of user fees in all public hospitals. On the other hand, our learned ministers from the Maharashtra Government are considering seriously regressive steps which would weaken public hospitals and are likely to deny health rights to large number of citizens,” said Sonya Gill of the Akhil Bharatiya Janawadi Mahila Sanghatana (AIDWA).

The convention not only unanimously denounced the proposal, but also passed a resolution for a state-wide campaign to oppose the proposal and raise the issues with the government.

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no silver lining, just a head full of dark clouds

so it was one of those news items that are put in news for no real reason, it made little or no difference to anyone if Big B went to meet Dilip Kumar, except both of them maybe, however they have been the face of Bollywood for so long that anything they do seems important. But what caught my attention was not their faces, it was their hair- their head full of pitch black hair and i wondered how is it that they are still keen to have an all black colour.

Dilip Kumar (born 11 December 1922) and Amitabh Bachchan (born 11 October 1942) are still finding time to ensure the dark cloud over their head does not have a silver lining. At the age of like 91 and 71 they are both scions of cinema and their looks have been a benchmark for men of their generation, most of them have retired three or one decade ago. While Amitabh Bachchan is still working and hence has a constant gaze, the vanity in Dilip Kumar’s hair coloring is amusing and confusing.


We constantly discuss how teenagers act and talk in a manner that’s too old for them, this image made me wonder about people who are old but refuse to look or act like that. From people working hard to alter lifestyles to look younger it has now come to a stage where people wish to completely refuse age. Anti wrinkle creme producers will tell you that you should start using them at 30 and hair colour manufactures will tell you that you could look 30 even at 60.

I wondered when was the last time i saw a person giving a retirement speech with grey or silver hair…no memories of the last decade or so. Remember the movies where the fathers had grey hair and the mothers has white hair and the hero and heroine had parents in their 50s looking like people in 50s, instead of people in 50s trying desperately to look like 30 or 35 or 38. i wonder few decades down the line small children will look at movies and see that no one has white hair, not sure if it will be a mirror of the society or if the society is doing what mass media is representing. Almost everyone seems to have deceived the biology of ageing by easy to use and cheap hair colour. But what drives a 91 year old to hide grey hair which otherwise begin to appear in 30s for most people, is it looks, is it refusal to accept age, is it tough to be seen as old, or is it that everyone has dark hair.


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The click that turned us into rats…

After many days I made plans to spend an evening around creativity, I wanted to walk around the Kala Ghoda festival to soak in something that was visually appealing and I hoped to add a bit of shopping.

The landmark curve in the road from flora fountain to Colaba never disappoints and this time too it had all the eclectic colours and despite the crowd it seemed to click….but that was the biggest problem.

“the CLiCK”. Everyone has something to click, unlimited storage, an insatiable desire to upload/share each and every one of the clicks, free medium and innumerable responses to each click and somewhere I started to resent the idea. It seems that as a species we have become completely dependent on the need to have people, especially on social networks, ‘like’ what we just now said or did to claimed to have said or done. I say claimed to have said or done because most of the content is repeated and instead of helping people get creative, the online life has made every one a Master in Plagiarism. The availability of space and freedom of expression has generated little freshness and a lot of copy+paste.

Whats disturbing is that even 4 yr olds held i pads to click their moms holding the new or even the old table mats, much to the father’s joy who believes that his child is really smart because he himself did not know how to use and I pad till he was 30! The concept of parenting lost its way in the happiness of learning how to use a gadget (running ur finger along or pushing a button). Friendships too seem to have become vaguely entwined by how witty a person’s status is or how HAWT (correct spellings are hot) a profile picture is. I wonder how do the present age psychologist accept these vague patterns which make Maslow’s pyramid stand on its head, while some 30-year-old tags his nursery class mates and shares the video titled – “old pyramid tilts and crushes the understanding of human motivation ROFL!”

Coffee shops, Airports, waiting area have become depressing because the people sharing a space no longer say hi or smile or even ask for direction or anything they google it. Is it me or are there too many people who hardly speak to those sitting to standing next to each there for hours  motionless, barely making any human contact sitting and staring and going tap tap tap and their phone/gadget. Grown men open their laptops in the waiting lounges urgently and play the latest version of their fav bloody video game instead of anything else, checking out women or having food or resting are all not a priority. Some how the need to communicate and stay in touch via the satellite and social network has beaten the real person to person communication and created a new image of mankind where people walk, eat and work with wires growing out of their ears and screens floating at their fingers .tap, tap, tap

An article I Read gave me an insight to another explanation that we are rats! no not nuts, rats those rats which were used by Skinner and perhaps not to far from the salivating dog that Pavlov . { I thought I must hyperlinke the names of the greatest behavioural psychologist because they are not on Facebook, I mean, not popular}

“Responding to an email, text message or new Facebook post in response to vibration or sound is remarkably similar to the behavior of those fixated rodents that unnerved me so long ago. Our compulsion to do this, like the compulsion of Skinner’s rats, is fueled by the fact that it is:

  • Easy. If the only way you could read an email was to run a mile first, the urge would quickly die. Human beings constantly do subconscious effort/reward calculations. Tapping a screen is the easiest of physical tasks.
  • Intermittently rewarding. Most emails are boring, most texts mundane, most Facebook updates trivial. But just enough of these electronic media experiences are just rewarding enough at a frequency that is just random enough that the small effort of repeatedly tapping the screen nearly always seems worth it.”

The theory of Rats makes me wonder how did we become so restrictive in choices that the microscopic moment of motivation gratification that happens with a like or lol precedes talking to some one who might be sitting with you for hours, imagine the countless real life incidents of genuine joy and hilarity that can happen outside of videos of kittens and puppies!

While it is tough to accept that humans can do nothing more than what rats did, it has brought about a superficial notion of happiness and fulfillment and has taken away the joy of something as simple as enjoying a festival or a gathering unless it is broadcasted/published/shared or tweeted. Because you enjoyed you ice creme or your vacation or you wedding or child’s birth only as long as you the 800 people we are friends with that are on our friend’s list see and like us having fun.

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the wise old man was right?

I tried to make sense but I could not, I tried to process the recent events but I could not so I apologize to the Khap Panchayat leader on whose logic i had once laughed- when he said that western culture is leading to rape, when he said that men might take ages to be civil so women should be more careful, when he said that wearing jeans, getting education, travelling alone can cause rape, too much TV and late marriage is leading to rape….Everything he said seems right when i see what is happening around me.

He was a wise old man, too many wrinkles and a lot of smoke from his hooka, but he perhaps had understood the inbuilt flaw of our society- the fact that we accept( allow and encourage) men to be aggressive, violent and disrespectful. We have raised a society that accepts men to be aggressive, who play the role of either the oppressor or the protector (the cases of rape on men are either never reported) and sadly rape is looked down upon only because it seems like an insult to the woman’s honor and hence a proof of the lack of protection by the male chaperons. Which is why the Social stigma of being a rape victim much more than the stigma of a wife beating husband or a roadside harasser?

Many times police is asked why our cities are not safe, i am waiting for an office to tell them that cities are safer than homes, schools, buses also most of the rape cases are not reported and are done by some one the victim knows or trusts. Police has no mechanism to stop rape before it happens and the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ clause can not make them arrest every man who ever whistled at a woman as a ‘probable rapist’. Most importantly police can not enter you house to see if the females are being raped, they can not check each bus on the roads, they can defiantly not see if there is marital rape. NO one can and hence the only tool in the hands of the state is the have a strong law and ensure implementation. How tragic would the life of a rape victim be who has to see her culprits for years and years as they are released for lack of evidence and whom she sees once every few months in courts for years and years.

As crude as it sounds, Media likes news about rape, everyone had many opinions and every person wants to hear about it. The anchors are fighting over the details and needless to say the law (which has punishment for media if a rape/acid attack/social outcast victim is named or identified ) is forgotten in the race to have one 20 second exclusive. When leading papers talk of death sentence for the guilty, one wonders if they are speaking of a solution or of creating a barbaric entertainment set up which ensures TRPs and a continuation of aggression. Also sadly a very small minority sees rape as an exploitation of the woman’s sexuality and dignity, its more of ‘she is killed while she is still alive’….i wonder if rape by itself kills the victim or the culprit, who had a fall from humanity and brutally hurt another being.

Its not something a parents thinks of when his or her boy leaves home…If he would be bullied and harassed (PLease lets not call it eve teasing), If he would have to hear lewd remarks about his body, If he would be seeing inappropriate gestures or worse if he would be raped. These concerns are reserved for the girls and this concern leads to the notion that father and brother must play the ‘protector’ role thereby reinforcing the notion that protection can come from within the family, community or neighborhood.

Since times immemorial all mothers, aunts, elder sisters tell girls how to try and avoid trouble but when will fathers, uncles and elder brothers tell boys that they better not be the kind of person that tarnishes the family honor, until then people will have to find solace in the wise old man’s explanation.

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The snowball effect

Vrinda Malik

“The birth of a new life should bring happiness and joy to the family, but lack of basic knowledge and facilities often restricts the event to anxiety and concern,” according to Dr Kranti Rayamane, maternal and newborn health expert at PATH, an organisation working on health issues. In 2005, PATH initiated the Sure Start Project aimed at ensuring the health and safety of mothers and newborns through behaviour change and community action. In a seven-year initiative, it has been working towards this goal in rural communities of Uttar Pradesh and among settlements of disadvantaged sections in Maharashtra’s sprawling cities.

promising change in the improved ratio of institutional deliveries




“Our only aim was to bridge the defence in the availability of infrastructure available and the lack of any human recourse development. The changes we seek are not abrupt or imposed. We train Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) who are chosen from the community who in turn encourage community leaders, health workers, family members, and pregnant women to adopt best practices to improve health outcomes,” Dr W.Sita Shankar, Director maternal and child health and natal care said. In Uttar Pradesh, Sure Start works with the National Rural Health Mission and its ASHAs to promote healthy pregnancy practices for mothers in 5,520 villages. In Maharashtra, Sure Start implemented the project in selected slums of seven cities (Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Nanded, Nagpur, Solapur, Pune, Malegaon).

The project carried out intensive activities including door-to-door surveillance for pregnancy through menstrual surveillance tools to ensure early registration of pregnancy, need-based Behavior Change Communication (BCC) for women and families, distributing printed health materials and using street theatre performances to promote healthy pregnancy, safe delivery and newborn care messaging.

Over the last two years, there has been a perceptible increase in the percentage of women   registering their pregnancy within 12 weeks –from 41 per cent in 2008 it has gone up to 54 per cent in 2011. Institutional deliveries are also up from 78 per cent in 2008 to 88 per cent in 2011in the seven Maharashtrian cities. Sure Start works with 95 partners in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, with the project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The key to the difference that the project has made is its ability to communicate and monitor. Issues are different in the urban – rural landscape, but they all fall under the same arch of logic and counselling.

“Policy makers cannot wash their hands off by throwing money or creating infrastructure as a solution to problems that need to be solved by creating better communication and awareness. You can make a school but what if no one wants to go there,” asked Tarun Vij, PATH’s country programme director. He explained that in rural areas the challenge is the lack of medical conditions and opinion makers need to be influenced, in most cases mothers- in laws and sarpanch leaders.

However, in the case of Maharashtra, which has the largest urban population in the country there were a different set of issues. “Drastic change in immigration and drift from the traditional lifestyle has changed the social structure, often leading to nuclear families where women have an additional burden of contributing economically. Outreach to the community is the most basic aim of the programme, no matter how many hospitals are made, unless the families are convinced of the practices, there is no use of the infrastructure…Communities have an innate capacity to find solutions to problems they face, we only need to catalyse them by training someone from among them. The snowballing effect takes place when women respond to the story of another woman’s healthy delivery. This is the best way to spread an idea.” Mr. Vij said.

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women’s right to ‘be not teased’

Vrinda Malik

MUMBAI: “How unsafe should a girl feel if she is going out at night or taking a train to go to work or just standing outside her house? One would expect that there will be a certain ‘safe’ time/area/dress-code/behavior when the society can assure her safety but sadly there isn’t,” a teenage student performing a street play at Chatrapati Shivaji Terminal, Mumbai yelled.

While the play gathered a huge crowd of commuters at the busy railway station the students hoped to change even a single person’s mindset. “Everyday we see how woman in the city faces harassment and in most cases she doesn’t do anything because she feels that ignoring it will solve it. They don’t want to create a fuss or avoid bringing more attention, unfortunately, this encourages the perpetrators. We want people to address it and confront the miscreant so that it is not repeated again,” Dinesh Sajnani, one of the writers of the play said.

There is no list or steps that can ensure the safety of women because it is the audacity of the perpetrator that needs to be checked. “Some one told me that we live in a country that teaches the women how not to get raped and doesn’t address those who rape them,” Jason Temasfieldt said. For Jason’s cousin Keenan Santos (25) and his friend Rueben Fernandes, (28) standing against miscreants misbehaving with their women friends a simple night out turned fatal. “After that incident, those who knew Santos and Fernandes had two choices – they could have sat at home to mourn their loss or reach out to others and prevent similar episodes,” said Jason Temasfieldt, who chose the latter and co-founded an NGO to address the issue of women’s safety in public places. We the People Foundation (WTPF) is working towards the cause and hopes to change mindset of both men and women towards the issue of sexual harassment.

A recent study by WTPF revealed that “Eight out of every 10 women in the city are subjected to some form of harassment in public places every day. The maximum cases of verbal and physical harassment take place in crowded areas such as trains and railway platforms,” Jason Temasfieldt said. The survey revealed that only one out of 10 women lodges a police complaint and not more than two confront the perpetrator or attempt to stop him. And only two out of every 10 women glare angrily at the offender, rest just ignore him or worse, feel embarrassed or ashamed of them.

In the Indian Penal Code, the word ‘eve-teasing’ does not exist and is largely understood to be an attitude or an act of humiliation of the female sex. “It is just assumed that boys will be boys and will continue to tease girls. We have to do away with frivolous terms such as ‘eve teasing’ and accept that any kind physical or verbal action by a man that makes a woman uncomfortable is harassment and is unacceptable,” Rhea Kotak, a student of H R College in South Mumbai said.

The city has a long list of helpline numbers, 103 (to complain about eve teasing and any to learn about women self Defense), 1298 (for women in distress to connect to relevant NGO’s), 22828862 (Family Service Center), 26140403 (Women’s Center), 1800227550 (for sexual harassment in bus – Initiative by BEST bus services in Mumbai) and 103 (Police helpline for crime against women). However girls like Bindiya Khan refuse to accept the phone line as a source of relief, “Its a phone line, it can be busy or cut and what can someone on the other side of a phone do anyways?” she asks.
19 year old Bindiya Saheba Khan, got tired of the harassment she faced and saw around her and decided to report it to the police,” The first time I got a case booked against someone for eve teasing I was in 9 th standard. In December last year after many indecent calls police had to book a case against a person and recently I called on the helpline no (100) to report a case against five men who was harassing women outside a bank.” Ms Khan has stopped approaching the police anymore for reporting misbehavior against any women, “Now they ask me to leave and allege that I will blackmail the men later. Even my mother has asked me not to leave home.”

 “Saddest part of the problem is that women are made to feel responsible for the harassment. Also at present time our TV shows, advertisements and movies all show teasing or passing remarks as pleasant flirting or beginnings of a courtship or romance instead of violation of a woman’s basic right,” Bindiya Saheba Khan, 19 year old student of journalism said


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