Pradnya Mandhare, a third-year Bachelor of Mass Media student at Sathaye College in Vile Parle is not just another college going student, as you might think. Where many of the women in India fear facing their molesters or even filing an FIR against them, this brave girl did something that should be an inspiration the all the women of our country.
Unlike other victims, she didn’t think it was her shame when a man tried to molest her, but instead, she took him by his hair, dragged him and took him to the nearest police station. It would be interesting to note that this happened when some 50 men and women were watching her being molested and none of them came forward to help her.
After getting done with her lectures at 2:30 pm, she boarded a train from Vile Parle station to back to her home in Borivli. “When the train reached Kandivli station, there was an announcement that it would arrive at platform number 8 on Borivli station. So I decided to get off that train and board another one to avoid making the long walk to the western end of Borivli station,” Pradnya said. Further, she added, “when I was waiting at the platform for another train, this visibly drunk person came to me and touched me inappropriately. When I tried to avoid him, he grabbed me. I was shocked for a couple of seconds, but then I started hitting him with my bag. He was trying to hit me, but I could overpower him because he was stinking of alcohol and I could make out that he was drunk. Most women are scared of approaching the police as filing a complaint is a lengthy process. It involves giving a lot of statements and, sometimes, dealing with uncooperative officers. But, I was firm on taking that man to the police.”
Talking about the fact that not a single person came to help her, she said, “Kandivli station is always crowded and so many men and women saw the druggie try to attack me, but no one came forward to help. People stopped to stare, but no one bothered to even ask what was going on. Since the man was filthy, I found it difficult to even touch him. I caught him by his hair and dragged him to the Government Railway Police (GRP) chowkie,”
“Dragging him by the hair and walking was tough, because he was trying to escape and I was afraid he would attack me. He kept telling me not to drag him along and that he would come with me on his own, but I did not let go. I finally managed to hand him over to the police.”
The officers at Borivli GRP were coordinating. One of them said, “we have arrested the accused, Chavan (25), who is a drug addict and was also drunk when the incident took place. We conducted a medical test of the accused and he will be produced court on Thursday (today). We are verifying whether he has a previous criminal record.”
She said, “Every woman should fight back in such cases and they should not keep quiet. I am grateful that the police also helped me and arrested the accused. I also asked the police officers to teach the accused a lesson so that he would not dare to molest a woman ever again. This Women’s Day, a youth had passed a lewd comment at me. I tried taking him to the Borivli police station, but he managed to escape. Parents of girls also think that going to a police station would tarnish their daughter’s reputation. But, women should raise their voice and teach such people a lesson. Women are not objects for anyone to touch at will.”
We need our girls and women to be and act like Pradnya. It is not necessary that every time that someone will come to your aid when you’re in trouble. Only you will be able to tackle it. Also, it is not your shame if someone harasses you. It is the man’s shame. A legal complaint must be filed.
We’re proud of you, girl!