Neeraj Mohan Puri – Are we ready to prioritise womens’ safety?

Are we ready to prioritise womens’ safety?

Neeraj Mohan Puri, Director – Sandeepni Gurukul, Principal – Modern Sandeepni School

तू बेटी है तो रहमत है, तू बहन है तो शफकत है,
तू बीवी है तो चाहत है, तू माँ है तो जन्‍नत है।

Ever since time immemor-ial, women are considered with respect and dignity. They are considered to be at the highest pedestal. On our soil, Durga, Laxmi and Saraswati are worshipped by people treating them as goddesses. This was a time when the word ‘feminism’ or ‘women empowerment’ wasn’t even coined.

As the civilizations progressed, the patriarchal mind set of the society did change to some extent but not to the limits it was supposed to. Undoubtedly, various social taboos like the Sati System, Dowry system, Parda system got abolished. Nevertheless, violence against women is still continuing unchecked. The incidence of violence against women has increased manifold, may be due to their greater exposure to the outer world in every field of life. Women were previously restricted to the four walls of the houses but after globalisation they got the chance and opportunity to move out of the four walls and stand equally, at par with men in all spheres of life. Women, now-a-days, are driving planes, spearheading companies, starting new ventures and even being commissioned in the defense forces.

Many daughters of India have brought laurels to the nation. Sita, Draupdi, Rani Jhansi, Sarojini Naidu, Indira Gandhi, Kalpana Chawla, Lata Mangeshkar, M. S. Subbulakshmi, Kiran Bedi, Mary Kom, Indira Nooyi, P. V. Sindhu — the list is infinite. The journey to their success was never easy. It was a colossal task.

Despite immense contribution in every segment of society, their struggle for recognition, security and respect is still ongoing. Eve teasing, sexual harassment, rape and domestic violence are often used weapons by men to display their superiority. This is one of the prime reasons why violence is increasing in society and women safety is an area of concern for all of us.

In furtherance to this mindset, slow operational pace of Indian judiciary and lack of stringent punishment are chief threat to women security in India. The police in India are neither efficient nor neutral. The cases of violence against women take long time in the investigation phase. Many women because of social pressure and shame, do not even come out and report the matter to police.

Rape is a disease, heinous crime, brutal act and I consider it not less than any terrorist attack. It doesn’t differentiate between a 3-year-old kid and an 80-year-old lady. Candle marches and merely holding placards for media attention will not help to curb this menace.

The national level “Crimes in India – 2019” report shows that crimes against women have gone up by 7.3 per cent in the previous year. The crime rate registered per lakh women population is 62.4 in 2019, up from 58.8 of 2018. These hair-raising statistics haunt us and send shivers down the spine.

To ensure safety to every woman, following agencies ought to work collaboratively and dedicatedly so as to set right the things on track.

Government: First and foremost is the role of the Government to frame effective policies and have effective women safety network at place.

Judiciary: Exclusive courts for cases of women harassment must be set up. Stern punishments through fast track courts and exemplary verdicts would generate deterrence and restore the faith of general public in law.

Police: Unbiased, preferential and compassionate treatment to the grievances of women should be inculcated in the department from top to bottom.

Parents: Parents have to play a paramount role to groom and guide their children. They should keep an eye on the activities of their children and an adequate check on their behaviour. Obsession for male child and shielding them for their unpleasant actions encourage them to indulge and repeat unhealthy activities.

Schools: Educational institutions should inculcate right social behaviour and ethical values, discourage gender bias, impart self-defense education and provide regular counselling to the students right from the foundation level.

Youth: It is the earnest duty and umpteen responsibility of the youth to stay connected with their roots and culture. Mad craziness to adopt western lifestyle, late night party culture, live-in relationships, excessive consumption of alcohol and drug abuse are some of the reasons why despite our best efforts we are not able to contain this abhorrent menace. Modernization and liberty should not lead to character assassination.

It is a gargantuan task that can only be achieved when all the stakeholders perform their roles and do their duties selflessly, judiciously and with dedication and devotion. 

अपमान मत करना नारियों का, इनके बल पर ही तो जग चलता है,
मर्द जन्‍म लेकर भी, इनकी गोद में ही पलता है।
Mr Neeraj Mohan Puri is Principal at Modern Sandeepni School, Pathankot and Director of Sandeepni Gurukul, Kautnerpur. He is a founder of GOAL Foundation, CBSE Resource person and Treasurer of Pathankot Sahodaya.
An alumnus of Guru Nanak Dev University, Mr Puri has Bachelor’s degrees in Commerce and Education, Post graduate degrees in Commerce, Economics and Management, MPhil in Management and currently he is pursuing Doctorate in Management.
He is highly passionate about redefining education. Starting his career as a TGT Maths in 2001, he has lifted himself to this level by his extraordinary motivation and leadership skills. Under his supervision, Modern Sandeepni leapfrogged as one among the best schools in Punjab. During COVID 19 he spearheaded many e-initiatives like Virtual School Council Elections and Digital Ballot. He has arranged students educational tour to NASA, sports tour to Denmark, pro-actively planned launching school’s monthly newspaper and magazine, setting up of ATAL tinkering Lab, set Students Philanthropy Club, hosted mini olympics, and most importantly organised workshops for the development of faculty members.
With teaching and administrative experience spanning over 20 years, he has been recently honoured with GLOBAL Teachers Award-2020, Education Icon -2020, honoured with Progressive Nation Builder award, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam award, Best Principal award and many more. He is the District Education Advisor of Wednesday Times. He has been bestowed with a certificate of brilliance from honourable former HRD minister Smt Smriti Irani.