Nancy B. Varghese
A new year is a new start, and a new beginning making way for better things to come, but when it comes to the safety of women in our country, why does the phrase 'New Year, Same Shit, and Still Afraid' sound more relatable than optimism?
Oh that's right. Because not enough has changed to keep our women safe and protected from merciless and despicable acts of rape and sexual assault. It still happens, and since the people in power won't step up to give us the resources to deal with this menace, so be it, we're slowly taking matters into our hands now.
Meet Seenu Kumari, a resident of Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh, who has developed a prototype for 'rape-proof underwear' that is also fitted with a GPS tracker, a video camera, and a safety lock. Living in one of the least safest states in India for a woman (according to the 2017 Gender Vulnerability Index), Seenu claims that her prototype is bullet-proof as well, and cannot be cut by a knife.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, Seenu said "I have put a smart lock that won't open till you key in the password. I have also installed an electronic device that is equipped with a GPS and calling facility. When somebody tries to molest a woman, this device will send out messages to relatives of the woman and also to the police."
The prototype has been sent to The National Innovation Foundation in Allahabad for patenting and if approved, can soon be made available for a wider market.
"A woman doesn't need to wear this underwear always. She can wear it when she is travelling alone or if she finds a place unsafe", added Seenu. "This can help save the woman from wicked men who would try to violate her dignity".
As saddening as it is to see that we're still living in a time where we are looking at solutions to defend ourselves from possibilities of rape and not branding it into society's brains that MEN SHOULD NOT RAPE, this is an amazing idea that we really hope takes flight soon.
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