Time has helplessly watched women’s suffering in the form of discrimination, oppression, exploitation, degradation, aggression, humiliation.Recently, the brutal gang rape of a 23 year student in Delhi once again sparked the debate on the Indian mentality and the existing law and order in the Country.
Amidst this crucial scenario state governments are taking precautionary measures to curb this on-going harassment. One such effort has been made by the Telangana state in the form of SHE TEAMS.
SHE TEAMS have been introduced in Telangana with the motto of providing safety, security and making Hyderabad a safer city for women and facilitating healthy environment for women’s mobility thereby building up confidence in them.Hundred SHE TEAMS are working under the direct supervision of Smt. Swati Lakra IPS, Addl. Commissioner of Police, Crimes & SIT.
The SHE TEAMS have come up with different ideas to safeguard the movements of women in Hyderabad such as SHE cabs, women special buses along the IT corridor, BHAROSA centres to provide legal assistance, mobile apps, round the clock patrolling teams, lady counsellors at government departments to deal with workplace harassment, a toll free number for receiving workplace complaints, help desks at receptions of all stations, start of Cyberabad Security Council and installation of CCTV cameras in 1,300 RTC buses moving through sensitive routes.
Media plays an important role in shaping the view of our society. As Dr. Aruna Jyothi, Head of Public Administration, Department of Osmania University feels, women are always portrayed as poor and helpless. Soap Operas and other television dramas create an image of women in such a way that she herself feels dependent. Men feel that she should sit back in the house and work day and night. Another issue is the way women are sketched in the media. Dressing patterns of traditional Indian women should be a salwar or sari; she will be a darling at home and get married in a young age. She serves her husband’s in laws. A modern woman on the other hand is portrayed in skimpy clothes and is often the home breaker rather than an independent woman with a mind of her own. Such absurdities negatively impact in the minds of young viewers who paint all educated young women as someone who deserve to be treated badly, leading to sexual offences.
“We target the psyche of the offenders,” said ACP Lakra on how they dealt with offenders. They counsel the offender in front of his family, most importantly mother and sister. “There can be no punishment worse than being counselled for a shameful act in front of the family”, she said. They are making efforts to help women overcome the inhibition of reporting or talking about abuse, harassment and violence. They conduct awareness programs in schools and colleges, screen short films and documentaries, educate girls about their fundamental rights and impart knowledge about the Indian penal code (IPC). They also demonstrate self-defence methods for girls.
SHE TEAMS have their own column in the Hyderabad city police website, WhatsApp number, Facebook page and email ID. The common people also find this helpful as they feel more safe and secure to move around the city, during the odd hours to any place.