Bengaluru: The Bangalore City Police is drawing flak for putting up hoardings across the main junctions in the city to spread awareness on preventing crimes against women and children. While one hoarding at the busy Mallya Hospital junction in central Bengaluru says “She is woman with hope and power, don’t take that away from her, save her honour,” another one at Shivananda Circle states “She is a child, just a young girl, don’t rob her innocence.”
While the police felt that they had done a good job in raising awareness; a good number of Bengalureans, including netizens and Women and Child activists, felt otherwise. “It’s just rubbish and is like rubbing salt into the injury. By doing this they (the police) are yet again belittling and demeaning women,” said Donna Fernandez, Founder Chairperson of Vimochana to Deccan Chronicle.
Police could have consulted women and child organisations for better tips, before they went ahead with such an initiative. It would be better off, if they remove them, she added. “How many of you would have seen the hoarding near Kundalahalli signal, ‘She is a child, just a young girl, don't rob her innocence’ put up by Bangalore police. There are two things that hurt me badly. First one, where is our society heading to? Do we need to request the rapists like this in public? Will he stop after reading such posters?
And secondly Whitefield is an important business destination. Not only people throughout India, but many from abroad too come here. What image will they carry home after reading this hoarding? Is police right on their part putting up such posters?” a netizen from Whitefield posted on social networking site. “Another thing that struck us was, these posters are only in English. Are all rapists in Bangalore English-reading and speaking crowd?” asked another netizen.
“We have objected to this when the Bangalore City Police (BCP) started this initiative sometime ago. I welcome the initiative, but I ridicule the tone of the message conveyed through these hoardings. Firstly, the language used is only English, why not in Kannada, Urdu, Hindi, Tamil etc,” said Vasudev Sharma, Executive Director Child Rights Trust (CRT). The tone of the message is sort of requesting the community to respect and honour women stereotyping them that they are infamous for dishonoring women. "I feel messages should be in the form of warnings, punishment awarded for the perpetrators portrayed in an optimistic way,” Sharma added.
East Division Additional Commissioner, P. Harisekaran, who headed the campaign, said, “The message in short is to respect and honour women. The message is sent out to entire community and not to criminals. And we, by this initiative, do not believe that anybody can misinterpret the actual message in a negative way.”...