Millennium Post

Worth an Aarti and a Pooja

Rohtak district in Haryana is infamous for the persecution of women including those being killed in the name of family and community honour. This time around the district has hit the headlines for altogether different reasons.

Two young women from the district, sisters Aarti and Pooja, courageously took on three youths, who were harassing them in a state transport bus, while their fellow passengers looked on without a shred of protest. Initially, a fellow woman passenger had also objected to the act, but was soon harassed by the youths. The bus driver and conductor, who are responsible for the safety of the passengers, too did not come forward to help the girls.

The most shocking aspect of the entire event was the response and the subsequent behaviour of the state police officials. The victims of eve-teasing had called up the police helpline. However, nobody responded and no help came. Later they went to the police station where the youths were also brought along. Instead of taking appropriate action, the police official on duty tried to pressurise the girls into withdrawing the complaint. This is not the first time that girls in the state were on the receiving end of harassment by men in the district. In August this year, two teenage girl students in Rohtak town, Madhu and Nikita, had committed suicide by consuming poison-laced juice after being repeatedly harassed by some boys. These girls were constantly stalked, while attending their coaching classes.

The new government in Haryana has acted in the matter and transport department officials have been taken to task for not rescuing the girls in their time of need. However, the administration should also act immediately against the erring police officials. Taking apposite action in the matter would help send a positive message about the intention of the new government against those who take the law into their hands.

Thankfully, the Haryana government has decided to honour the two brave girls on Republic Day, 2015. These girls are definitely worth being shown in glowing light (Aarti) and worshipped (Pooja) for their brave act. This incident should also make women folk realise that they are their own best defenders.

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