Nirbhaya of Hyderabad unknowingly taught us some lessons that we cannot afford to forget

I have not been able to sleep in the last two nights. Since that horrible visual representation that shows the charred body of the Hyderabad veterinarian raped and murdered has been making the rounds online, that is the only thing I can think of. Your red scooter looks exactly like mine. He took the route he sometimes took to go to work: ORR to Gachibowli. I was afraid of being stranded on that deserted road at night; The sight of those men on the road scared her, it's a fear that I know very well. I can't get rid of the idea that I could have been that fateful night. It could have been any of us, says Maitreyi, a 26-year process consultant at a Gachibowl technology company. His voice trembles with a mixture of rage and fear. 01 Nirbhaya 2

Sahiti, 29, who travels 15 kilometers to and from work every night, admits that she has also not been able to forget the tragic story of the rape victim. They call it Nirbhaya of Hyderabad ... the intrepid. But she was one of us. And we are all afraid. We can't afford to be brave, how can we? Look what happened to her. I've been driving the scene in my head, living its anguish and trying to imagine what I would do if I was stuck in its place tomorrow. What happens if my car has a flat? What if my assailants came masked as useful passersby? Can I trust someone now? Would you be able to fight to get out?

Advocate for my life? These are my own thoughts. Each night.

The conversation is the same everywhere. In social networks, in office canteens, on campuses. Working women, students, single women living alone, almost everyone seems to have the same thought: It could have been me! What would happen if it were me ... While the people of the nation shout in unison and demand justice for De Hyderabad Nirbhaya , without realizing it, and tragically, he left some lessons for his people to remember ... 01 Nirbhaya 1


When she felt insecure and cornered, the first thing the 26-year-old rape victim did was call her sister. And then, he did what all the girls in India do instinctively when they feel insecure. She told her sister: Stay with me on the phone ... I'm afraid. Women do this all the time. Whether in a car at night or in a taxi, they tend to talk to someone on the phone until they feel safe. Sometimes, they do this even when there is no one else at the other end of the line. What are they trying to do? Wishing our conversation, usually with strong updates about our current location, scares any potential assailant to behave, sighs Pooja, a San Francisco student, with irony. I do it all the time, he adds. Clearly, it is NOT enough, as tragically demonstrated in this case. Instead, dial 100, say the police.


“Remember girls, no matter what the problem, first dial 100. They respond to every kind of problem. This number can even get you connected with the SHE Teams, ”says Shikha Goel, addl Commissioner of Police and SHE Teams in-charge, Telangana Police. “SHE Teams also has their specific contacts for each district, that’s available on the website. One can easily download and save these numbers on their phones. Be careful though, there are some numbers claiming to be Nirbhaya helpline and those are fake. One must only refer to the official website for the actual numbers and it is always good to have them saved. I would reiterate that 100 is the easiest though, ”adds Goel. Complaints received on 100 are promptly attended to. Within the Hyderabad city police commissionerate, the average time for the cops to reach the location is about 10 minutes. It is not very different for the Cyberabad commissionerate either. “We urge women and men in the city to download the Hawk Eye app, which is a free app, available on android and iOs. The app has a special SOS button. As soon as one presses that, your location will immediately be transmitted to the police control room and also to the nearest patrol car that will be directed towards your location. If you have saved any numbers of family or friends, they will get an alert immediately, ”says Goel, who hopes 100 becomes to Indians what 911 is to Americans.

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The victim's latest phone calls with her sister show that she felt the danger from the beginning. She kept telling him: I'm afraid ..., Looking at the class of men around me, I'm afraid ... If only I had the opportunity to act on that fear; if only she listened to the visceral sensations and refused to trust those men who extended a helping hand just to take her to her deadly trap.

You should always rely on the intestinal instinct and, more importantly, act on it, even at the risk of being called by overreaction.

Psychologically, in extreme situations, a woman's first response would be to call a loved one, but that mentality must change. When you are in a potentially dangerous situation, it is mandatory to remember that the only ones who can really help you are the police. It needs to be fed in our brain. Just as we call an ambulance when there is a medical emergency or firefighters when there is a fire, we must call the police when they are in danger. For this, women must begin to trust their instincts. If you feel insecure, you probably are! Train yourself to think with such a clear mind in such situations, without panicking, ”says Dr. Madhu, a psychologist.

Social behavior experts believe that the real reason why women generally dismiss their fears, often until it is too late, is because of the disdainful way in which people react when women generally express that they are in trouble. “When a woman expresses fear for a particular problem, most people try to rule it out, or worse, make fun of the woman for being scared. Even in cases of rape, people blame the victim for several reasons. Over time, women have begun to despise their fears. Changing the social mindset is the only way this can be addressed, ”says Niharika, a city psychologist. However, until that happens, women everywhere must take charge of their safety in their own hands, believes Dr. Kavitha, a psychologist, who emphasizes the importance of being alert at all times. “There is always a notification, a screen or the next viral trend that competes for our attention. We are only living half of our lives. Our attention is dispersed. When I travel by public transport, I see young women everywhere absorbed in their phones, with the headphones plugged in. This prevents them from being aware of the imminent danger. To react to a threat, whether fleeing or fighting against it, it is absolutely crucial to be alert. This is the sad reality of the times in which we live. We cannot afford not to be alert, ”says Dr. Kavitha.

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It is the sad and terrible truth of our times. Even while we are on the threshold of a new decade, that old adage is better safe than sorry. Embarrassingly like that. Yes, we know that, and we want to believe, #notallmenarerapists, but it is also true that we really cannot say who one is, women say. And that's why we have to teach our girls that they can't blindly trust anyone, no matter how bleak it seems, says Jameela Nishat, poet and activist, and adds: And yes, we have to teach them to defend themselves. As women, we are conditioned to identify threatening situations. But we have no idea what to do once in these situations! That should change. We should teach our girls what steps to take when they are in danger. If the victim had acted on her fear and called the police, maybe she would have been alive now.

Jameela, who runs a social assistance organization for women in the city, works with victims of sexual abuse and assault day after day. She has some chilling statistics to prove her point that our girls are not safe anywhere: Recently we conducted a survey, where we talked with 100 boys from the city school. When asked if they know what rape is, they said yes. Upon further investigation, we discovered that the 100 knew someone, a neighborhood girl, or a friend or relative, who had been sexually assaulted. Of course, these were children who studied in class 8 or 9. So bad is the situation in our society. Even young children have to be cautious with everyone around them. We need to teach them.


The fear of sexual assault is something that most men in this country never have to think about when it comes to life every day or every night. But it is a living reality for women, whose lives revolve around dodging, avoiding, avoiding sexual aggression. It's a real fear that can happen anywhere: in the mall, on the bus/train, on the street, in the university, at home too. Dropping the guard, anywhere, is not an option, women in the city say. “It's not just Hyderabad. Being a working woman anywhere in this country is quite scary, especially if you have to travel at night. So, as a precaution, I always make sure to take pepper spray to be sure. On top of that, I make sure to share my location live with my close friends in the city and my family so they can constantly track my taxi, especially when I travel alone, says Aashima Gupta, a 29-year-old IT professional. .

What modern and independent women in other parts of the world dismiss as advice from grandmother's times, is relevant even now. Do not leave your drink unattended; mix your own drinks at a party; Don't take the elevators offered by strangers, basically don't trust anyone ... that's the lesson I've learned. If that makes me look like a Puritan from the Victorian era, what a pity. I drove to my house the other day and was waiting for the doors to open when a random guy came out of nowhere and tried to open the door of my car. There is no such thing as being too careful, at least not here, laments Mithuna, an architect. And it is precisely for this reason that many women workers who share have self-imposed curfews for their own safety. “I avoid traveling alone at night, but when I do, I make sure to keep my phone fully charged. It is always better to take precautions and be alert, because it will take forever to change the mentality of such atrocious men, ”says Tissya Das, a 26-year-old IT professional in the city.

Aroma Mandal, a 26-year-old graphic designer, says: “I have a number of SHE teams, the police and my closest friends and family in my SpeedDial. On top of that, I always carry a Swiss knife in my bag because you never know what could happen. Also, if I attend a party and it is getting late, I usually stay at the house of a trusted friend, to avoid traveling at night. It is a terrible thing that women have to bear the burden of being cautious, but there is no other admit to women. I wish we didn't have to walk another kilometer to feel safe, but if that's what it takes to stay alive, so be it. How long can we wait for the system to change, society? Aroma sighs.

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