The brave heart who helps nab perverts. #WATWB

The brave heart who helps nab perverts. #WATWB

The Mumbai locals (Railways) may be the lifeline for millions in the City of dreams, but they also happen  to be the bane of the lives of its travellers, especially the women. Imagine  travelling in crowded compartments, from far flung suburbs, to work and back, spending almost four hours doing so each day.

Now, add to that the everyday torture and harassment by perverts who pass lewd comments, molest, harass without a fear in the world, and no one to guard you, or assist you in fighting the rowdies off!

A nightmare, isn’t it?

Law enforcement officers often (sadly) turn a blind eye and  a deaf ear to the protests and the complaints made by some women who gather the courage to come forward. So, whom do they turn to? Or, do they go about their lives, living in fear each time they step onto the train?

Fortunately, for them, there are a few brave hearts , who put their lives at risk and come forward to help. They know what it must be like being at the receiving end of all the abuse. They have female family members/friends  who travel and complain about the daily fight they have to put up with.

Like Mr. Dipesh Tank, from Mumbai. The man, who has taken it upon himself to nab molesters in Mumbai local trains and do his bit to help the police.

Dipesh Tank

DIpesh, who began working at an early age, saw how perverts teased and harassed women in local trains. It reminded him of his mother who had to travel at odd hours to work. And, that’s when he decided to do something to help.

He bought a special pair of glasses with built-in HD video recording camera to record and nab the perpetrators and report to the police. He began a campaign in 2013 along with his friends, WARR (War Against Railway Rowdies) and collected evidence to present to the police.

In the past six months, the police nabbed around 140 eve-teasers, all thanks to Dipesh’s efforts.

It is not an easy task Dipesh has set out to do. But, he persists in doing it, each day, every day. The one thing he rues, though,  is  women’s reluctance to come forward and file a complaint, or raise a voice each time they fall prey to the molesters which encourages the perverts to carry on with their sickening ways.

Do read  the story of  the  brave man who helps Mumbai police to nab eve-teasers here.

 

Damyanti Biswas  co-hosts the We Are The World Blogfest on the  last Friday of every month to share a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful harmony, and restore our faith in humanity.

Do join in with a real life story that speaks of something positive in a world that can be quite a scary place with all the negativity we see around. 

 

Image source: Google

The Real Heroes.

The Real Heroes.

                                                                                                                                                                            A few days ago, Bombay Times carried an interview of  the Indian rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh. It was a tell-all about his disappearance from the public glare for around 18 months; a period  during which he battled a very frightening        monster called Bi-polar Disorder.The state of mind he described reminded me of what I have seen a dear one go through.  A person very close to me suffers from the  illness, and I have been a witness to the struggle – his and ours.

 

We had never heard the name, or known someone who suffered from the illness.   So,  it was akin to solving a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces just wouldn’t fit!  Our psychiatrist did explain it in detail and so did my counsellor, but, ultimately, we were on our own.  We didn’t have anyone coming up to offer solace, or assure us that this wasn’t the end. 

At times, as I sat in the hospital lounge, I would look around trying to find someone who was in a similar predicament as I; on whose shoulder I could cry and from whom I could hear some words  of hope. But, alas, I found none! It happens to be an illness – like every other mental illness – which people would rather conceal from outsiders.

There aren’t any visible symptoms for the world to make out any difference in the patient. And, divulging such information might lead to who-knows-what!  Finding oneself all alone at such a juncture in life can be devastating, to say the least.

Coming back to Mr. Honey Singh, I know the amount of  courage it takes to reveal such private (and delicate) information to the world, especially,  if one belongs to the glamorous world of films and music. I can only imagine the number of people in this glitzy world, who may be actually suffering from this, or some other illness, but who lack the courage to come out and speak about their travails!

The dark periods of the mind-boggling highs and lows that one goes through thanks to bi-polar, can be unnerving. And, if one belongs to such a  world, where one is always portrayed as an epitome of perfection, then revealing such facts could be detrimental to not only their image, but also to their career. But, here is Honey Singh, who has admitted to the world the truth about his life and come out a winner in many ways!

Some time ago,  Deepika Padukone   revealed the bout of depression that she had been through. The hopelessness and the despair she spoke about, made her a hero to many a sufferer in our midst. An actress of her calibre, coming all out about such a delicate issue was a brave decision indeed! And, now we hear about Honey Singh’s struggle with bi-polar disorder.

Unsurprisingly, these are  only two such  brave-hearts, who have opened up their wounds for the world to see;  people, who are otherwise expected to be flawless entities!

However, as opposed to the denizens of our Indian film industry, the stars of Hollywood seem to have no such inhibitions in speaking about the trials they suffer, vis-a-vis their health issues. We know a greater number of Hollywood actors who suffer from bi-polar disorder or depression than we do of our Bollywood actors.

Maybe, over there they are treated like normal human beings, whilst our actors are revered as gods!  Why isn’t it accepted that these are  illnesses that could strike anybody,  irrespective of social standing, religion or gender?  Why don’t we all – including our screen idols – accept that they are, after all, mere mortals, who are prone to maladies of any and every kind?  Why don’t we  just accept it and live, and let live?

I think the fact that we deify them is the reason they fear coming out of the closets they hide their imperfections in. Wouldn’t their acceptance of themselves, and openness about their problems make them more real  to us? 

The confessions these two  brave hearts made may actually give strength to many a troubled soul who suffer behind closed doors, away from  prying eyes. Frankly, I have no knowledge about the kind of music he makes, but, Honey Singh’s  story of  the battle he has fought could surely motivate others like him.  And, so could Deepika’s story – she, who reigns the box-office today!

We all need heroes in our lives, to look up to, to draw inspiration from. And, who better than those who have the guts to reveal their true selves,  their trials and tribulations, like Dipika and Honey Singh? They would definitely make better heroes than those who flaunt attributes which are as artificial as the smiles that adorn their faces on the giant posters along the streets!

If the stories of these two  exceptional beings are able to inspire even a handful few,  it would be an achievement in the truest sense for these celebrities, isn’t it?

A big ‘Thank you’ to you, Deepika and Honey Singh!  May your tribe increase!