Have you read about Pooja and Aarti Kumar, two sisters from Rohtak, who thrashed a group of boys until they stopped harassing them? No? Well, we’re here to tell you exactly what happened.
Pooja and Aarti were on their way back home from Rohtak Government College, when they verbally abused and harassed on a bus by a group of three men (apparently they were soldiers in training). They began throwing chits with their phone numbers on them at the two girls, despite being asked repeatedly to stop. They continued to lech at the sisters and then began to grab them, in full view of the other passengers. But it was when they also started targeting a pregnant woman on the bus that the two girls took to hitting their abusers with a belt.
Why is this such a big deal?
Everyone has been talking about just how brave the sisters were to take on men who were abusing them. Yes, they were brave indeed. But, more importantly, we must understand that they did so because they had no choice. The situation is more tragic than it is cool - in celebrating the their courage, let’s not forget that they must have had to endure a lot of abuse to finally reach a stage where they resorted to physically lashing out at their attackers.
Who helped the girls?
The answer is: no one.
Instead of taking their side, the other passengers on the bus did absolutely nothing. They just sat there, watching the show.
The driver and bus conductor whose responsibility it is to make sure the bus remains a safe space for women passengers did not intervene either.
Oddly enough, the abusers allegedly “threw them off the bus” even though the bus conductor should have forced the men off!
The boys continued to follow and harass the girls even when they got off the bus and the girls managed to get rid of them finally by throwing a BRICK at them!
All the “safety precautions” put in by the authorities too proved useless: the women’s helpline number the girls tried calling did not work when they wanted to report the incident.
Can you imagine being rendered so helpless in the face of abuse and harassment? Unfortunately, we’re sure you can. :(
It’s easier for those of us who have our own modes of transport. But for those of us who must use public transport to get around in our daily lives, such incidents are totally routine. Like the sisters said in an interview with Mail Today, “Women get harassed and abused everywhere in India and men haven’t learnt any lessons even after so many incidents. We have been tolerating these kind of things for long enough, but how long can we tolerate this?”