When was the last time you travelled within your city without fear, or voiced your opinions publicly without being drowned out? When was the last time you felt safe, comfortable, and secure in your own surroundings? And when did you last not have to care about the length of your skirt, shorts, or even kurta?
The last time we checked, over 79% of India’s women population felt unsafe, insecure, and directly under threat of harassment. How many more uncalled for threats and harassment episodes are we going to wait for to do something about it?
Here’s what men and women from across India’s metropolitan cities have to say about making our society safer for each of us.
Make an attempt to listen, understand, and become aware of the people and their various cultures around you. Ignorance, in this case, is more harmful, than bliss. The more we embrace awareness of people, situations, cultures, and choices, the greater our chances of creating a safer space which we can call ours.
Whether it’s at home or at work, at a restaurant or during travel, the breaking down of strict gender roles, brick by brick, is the way forward. In a society that is hugely patriarchal, both men and women of today need to work doubly hard to disintegrate these age-old beliefs.
Say Bye-Bye To Stereotypes
When we proactively crush stereotypes, we welcome a change in thought. Men and women who exercise their freedom to dress a certain way, do not need labels. People who indulge in chores different from their gender roles, do not need labels. When we incorporate gender sensitivity, equality, and empathy, are we truly progressing.
NO means NO
Whether it’s in response to a date, a kind of beverage, a type of food or even clothing; whether it’s in response to touch or even “harmless” gossip; NO should mean NO. Being able to say NO without obligation will be our biggest mindful achievement.
In the age where social media has taken over numerous other platforms, the information we get today travels fast, and comes from various sources. Understand that opinions differ and that they need to be respected.
Build Trust And Communication
It all starts at home, and it all begins with the family. A well-balanced, loving, nurturing family raises sensitive, empathetic, and progressive-thinking children. Safe homes are the building bricks of a safe society.
Educate Yourself. Educate Each Other.
Progress lies not just in education but in the practice of the education we receive. Let’s teach our children honestly, civility, gratitude, and empathy; characteristics that our society today lacks immensely.
In this rising scare that is our society becoming increasingly unsafe, intolerant, and difficult, it’s time to wake up before another disaster strikes us again. Alarm se pehle jaago, chalo saath mein mil ke kaam karo.
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