CCTV cameras and separate ladies compartment even for long distance trains
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I have been travelling by myself for the last 5-6 years and I have faced what most women face in India, staring and lewd gestures and noises.
At the age of 13, when I traveled long distance overnight with my parents, I woke up to a man kissing me on the lips. I was paralysed in fear and couldn't scream.
Ten years later, last night as I traveled on an 8-hour overnight journey, I was groped by two different men, on two separate occasions. To elaborate, I was in the sleeper class of the train on the side upper berth and facing the wall. Someone groped my rear side and I woke with a start and saw this older man running away. He must have been 55+.
I faced the direction he went and waited to see if he would come back and I must have drifted off to sleep but I woke up when someone pinched my chest and I tried to grab his arm. But he too ran away and disappeared into the crowded station. I lay very still for the next 3hours of the journey, my hand grasped around my pepper spray bottle with the safety catch off. I did not hope to use this, when I bought it. But last night, the need arose. They never came back but I was ready for another perverted person to come along. What are the chances that only two of those kind were traveling the same train? Surely in our country, one can expect much more.
I have never felt so disgusted in my life. I am a petite girl and do not look my age. I cannot imagine the horrors actual minors go through or women who are more voluptuous by birth. It has become something of a shame to be born a woman in India, constantly fearing every man who you pass by.
I request the Railway Minister, Mr. Piyush Goyal to install CCTV cameras in every coach of every train whether it be the local variety or long distance. Further, a separate sleeper coach for women which is BLOCKED on both sides so men cannot use it to walk through and have their pick of bodies to grope. I understand that the cost of this will be extremely high, but it will still be lesser than the cost people will spend by sending their young daughters to therapy to repair the horrifying damage caused by certain men in this country.
From a very young age, I have experienced such behaviour and was blamed. I was blamed for being a 13-year old walking on the streets where I grew up, wearing full-sleeved pyjama top and pants. I was blamed for wearing a salwar and dupatta when I was groped in the holy premises of a temple. I have not outgrown my fear and disgust of men. And I wish this fate on no other woman/girl in this country.
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