“It is sad to see that laws are being improperly implemented and we are dealing with hundreds of Nirbhayas every single month”, rues Lion M Shreedhar. Talking to DC, the intrepid lawyer who was in the news for filing a case against the self-styled Swami Nithyananda, spoke of his various battles for the safety of women and children.
His handling of a complaint involving a minor has become a case study for the implementation of POCSO. The case relates to the sexually harassment of a young girlby one of her teachers inside a classroom in a school in Thiruvalluvar district. A police complaint was filed, but the matter was closed within 24 hours despite there being witnesses. Shreedhar braved threats from many quarters and managed not only to get the case reopened but win it, despite the accused having a lot of clout.
Recounting how lawyers struggle to get new laws implemented, he regretted that “most women police stations take little or no care about sexual harassment cases now.”
Shreedhar, who has received an award from Holland for his fight against child abuse, has worked with various media influencers including Dr. Kamal Hassan and has been outspoken in a number of TV debates in a bid to enhance social awareness. His courtroom battles include cases filed against notorious sandalwood smuggler Veerappan. Kamal Hassan was so impressed with Shreedhar's people skills and social work that he was the actor's political party Maiam's MP candidate in the foregone Lok Sabha polls. He fought a fierce battle against DMK strongman T.R. Baalu.
He does not have much faith in women's safety apps. “It is vital to carry small weapons - even something as simple as chili powder — as a safety measure, because at the end of the day you are your own guardian”, he says.
Shreedhar signed up as a 'Leo' at the tender age of 19 in the Undivided Lions District 324-A1 in 1990. Twelve years later, he became Lions Club President and won the District Council elections ten times.
As the Global Leadership Team District Coordinator, Shreedhar is now working on new projects like engaging Transgender women to gainful employment and also help rebuild their lives once they are rescued from the flesh trade.