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Friday, November 11, 2011


Sitting at the back seat, chirping happily on the way back from school 10 year old Rohini pleaded to ride the bicycle. Her escort, 16 year old Ajay allowed her to do so. Just then she felt his hand caressing her. She immediately lost her balance and fell. Badly bruised, crying she reached back home. She never rode with him to school after that incident.

It was late one evening. Rohini was pedaling furiously to get back home from tuitions before it begins to rain. It was her 10th board exam the very next day. At the lonely turn on the road, another bicycle crossed her. A hand hit her on the breast with giggling following it. She dared not turn; heavy with tears managed to reach home with a pain in her heart.

It was Diwali. The whole house was lit like a marriage palace. A flood of relatives had come over the home. Rohini was serving around the eats and drinks to the guests. A hand held hers while handling over a glass of sharbat. She eyed him questioningly. It was her own uncle, her mother’s sister’s husband. Later that night, he tried to touch her again while crossing by her. She broke a complete set of glasses and ended up spending the Diwali night crying all by herself locked up in her room.

What are all these tears worth? Would it ever make any difference to the eve-teaser? Our minds have been raped! Relative, neighbor or stranger; all have been equally unworthy of trust to Rohini. May be Rohini resides in all of us. It isn’t about physical but mental abuse. It’s about the broken trust of a human being; its being helpless!

Rape is a scary word. It’s not even limited to women. A recent article about sexual abuse among war victims is a real eye opener. About 80% women were abused among refugees at a camp in South Africa whereas all the men were abused! It crosses the lines of humanity and shatters the dignity of a human being. The abused starts feeling ‘dirty’ about oneself! What is the root cause of this?

A few years back when sexual health was proposed to be introduced in school curriculum, there was a huge hue and cry. ‘It would degrade the minds of our children’ parents said.

It is as if thinking that the promotion of condoms will instigate people to have sex! The scarcity of knowledge about opposite sex and reproductive organs is what leads to making of pervert minds in the society. Remember our biology classes, where automatically we used to separate out in ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ group. Many of us ended up bunking the classes to escape the awkwardness to study about ‘such’ a thing together!

Health and Physical Education, a subject introduced by NCERT which aimed at looking at the health and hygiene aspects in school was degraded from a ‘compulsory subject to less important than the core subjects’. Before the policy changes result at a higher level, we all can contribute at our levels. The only time we can shape the mind is when it is young, once we loose that opportunity it’s very difficult to re-design the dried mud-pot. The time should not slip away to make it a better, safer and respectful world.          

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