Problems without names tend to stay inadequately addressed, street harassment always starts with something verbal, an uncomfortable word or gesture is the beginning of an unpleasant experience. The shameful Bangalore incidence where several women were mobbed, eve teased and subjected to crude comments by random drunk men brings us to one big question, how safe are we in the public space?
As a woman I feel extremely violated by the fact that a man can touch me inappropriately and conveniently get away with it. You expect it to happen but it doesn’t stop you from getting angry. We have a burden to protect ourselves all the time. We can either keep complaining and wait for a knight in shining armour to protect us or step-up and take charge of our own safety. Watch the vlog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4e4xeRcFMY
Every step in the right direction deserves an applause and we are so proud of citizens like Ishita Sharma who turned her own experience with catcalls and eve teasing as a means to fuel her fight towards a bigger cause of women’s safety. Mukka Maar as the name suggests deals with the issue head-on, she started these workshops almost a year back in 2016 and the response has been extremely encouraging.
Watching a bunch of 30-40 girls in the age group of 5 to 15 practicing marshal arts and self defence techniques on the Versova beach was a site to be proud of. The ideology behind Mukka Maar is simple, we will gear up our next generation to deal with these issues in a much more stronger way. The girls are mentored by trained instructors, their aim is to guide them and strengthen their confidence. One of them mentions, “no doubt you have to be alert and great with your technique but the first game you fight against the eve teaser is in your mind and I want these girls to realise that.”
Initiatives like Mukka Maar require lot of support from the community and parents. “There are times when your fight might seems insufficient but you got to trust your bigger plan. Every time I feel unsure, a bright spark keeps me going”. – Ishita Sharma
When the harasser encroaches our personal space we are forced to be apprehensive about everyone around us and allow fear to take over us. We want more women to raise their voice and scream, we want more women to stand up for themselves as well as the not so privileged sections of our society. Let’s raise daughters of possibilities and courage.
You can get more information about ‘Mukka Maar’ – www.aamad.co . This article will also be published by LivingLocal.com