Tuesday March 31, 2020
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Nirbhaya revisited as juvenile set to walk free

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Come December 20, the lone juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case that shook the nation’s collective conscience will walk free unless the Delhi high court acts on the government’s plea to extend his stay in an observation home till all the aspects, including mental health and post-release rehabilitation plans, are considered by the authorities.

“His (juvenile) stay in observation home needs to be extended….,” Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain told the court on Monday, claiming that several mandatory requirements were missing from post-release rehabilitation plan of the juvenile convict.

The Centre’s move also comes in the wake of a secret Intelligence Bureau assessment that claimed that the juvenile might have been radicalized in the observation home. Nirbhaya (name changed) was brutally assaulted by six persons, including the juvenile, in a moving bus in south Delhi. She later succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital triggering protests across the country demanding stringent action against the culprits and measures to ensure women’s safety.

So, what has changed since that fateful night?

According to the data released by National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB), as many as 36735 rapes were reported in 2014 while in 2013 the number was 33707. Total crimes against women in 2014 were 337922 while in 2013 the number was 309546, a significant rise that should suffice to give us sleepless nights.

According to the government, an increase of more than 50 per cent was reported in cognisable cases involving juveniles in last ten years.

“As per data collected from states and union territories, an increase of 50.6 per cent – from 25,601 cases in 2005 to 38,586 cases in 2014 – in cases under total cognizable crimes registered against juvenile in conflict with law,” MoS for home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in the reply to a written question in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The steps taken by Centre and state governments seem to fall way short of what is actually required in view of the rising number of incidents. On December 11 this year, a seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a 16-year-old boy in Delhi’s Tigri area, showing how the national capital still remains unsafe for women and children. Last year an executive was raped by a Uber driver in his cab who even threatened to shove an iron rod inside her, invoking troubling memories of brutal violence inflicted on Nirbhaya.

Therefore, the measures like setting up of a Nirbhaya Fund or the stringent ‘Nirbhaya Act’ taken to deal with the menace would not suffice. The need of the hour is to change the mindset of the men in our patriarchal society. When leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav try to justify rape by saying that ‘boys will be boys’ or when Chhattisgarh’s home minister Ramsewak Paikra says that no one commits rape intentionally as it happens by mistake, we need to look within and realize there is something rotten in the society.

The comments like these by our politicians show how deeply embedded patriarchy is in our society and how tough will it be to cleanse the mindsets that blame women for sexual assaults, questioning them for dressing ‘inappropriately’ or for being out late in the night. Alas, women have long been considered as second-class citizens. In ancient India, a Hindu widow would be compelled to immolate herself on her husband’s pyre under an obsolete funeral system, namely Sati. This savagery shockingly continued for several hundred years.

Thus, critical reforms in the education system are required so as to bring about gender sensitization in the children and the process must continue for next three to four decades. At least two generations must be educated in this manner so as to ensure respect and safety for the other half of the humanity. The children educated thus would have an inherent respect for women.

Ironically, India is a land where women have always been worshipped as goddesses. Tomorrow as the nation observes the third anniversary of Nirbhaya rape case, we ought to remember Mahatma Gandhi’s words:

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

We must change ourselves to ensure that another Nirbhaya doesn’t even befall this country.

(Image: Quint)

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Saree: The Versatile Outfit for Women

How to make saree your workwear staple

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Saree is practical, it's easy to wear and is graceful and so fashionable. IANS

BY ADITI ROY

Saree is one of the most versatile and elegant garments in the world. Women in India have worn this nine yards of wonder for many centuries belonging to different cultures and across the regions. And not before long, it used to be the most common attire for daily wear for women across ages in our country.

The versatility of the sari is such that it can even be worn at business conferences, workplace and office parties. Yes the trend of wearing or choosing to wear a saree as formal work wear is on the rise . It not only sets you apart from others but also gives you an edge over other dresses and maxies, says Delhi-based designer Anuradhha Ramam.

“It’s power dressing. It oozes confidence and power. In fact for many women with traditional and conservative tastes, formal saris are their preferred clothes for the offices, hotels and other corporate sectors. While pant suits and “churidar-kurtis” may be favored among young professionals in today’s corporate India, the “sari” still is the classic business attire. You can beautifully drape the saree and make a perfect style statement in elegance, style and confidence, she adds.

Saree, a practical as well as fashionable work-wear option

As a designer I think that saree is practical, it’s easy to wear and is graceful and so fashionable. Women in the 1980’s and 90’s mostly wore sarees at the workplace due to cultural and social reasons but today’s generation looks beyond these factors. A well draped saree can make a statement in elegance, style and confidence for women in the workplace.

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In my journey of 15 years in this industry, I have styled my sarees with boots and other accessories like silver jewellery which makes it a fusion wear and fashionable work-wear option for all the confident working women, Ramam says.

saree
Saree is one of the most versatile and elegant garments in the world. IANS

Give your saree a tweak to make it more wearable for regular wear

The best option is to wear a pre-stitched sari. It’s ready to wear in a saree silhouette, easy to wear and very convenient. Comfortable textiles like cotton, tussar and chiffon which are fashionable yet comfortable and also pairing it with accessories like silver jewellery, white shirts, boots, sneakers and what not makes it a decent fusion wear having subtle prints and fine textiles, suggests Ramam.

Also Read- Taking Care of Finances Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Selecting the type of material, prints ideal for a workwear

Linen , mulmul , handwoven cotton are ideal materials to wear to work. One colour tones and small prints are best for work wear. Look for comfortable materials that suit all kinds of weather conditions in which one would feel free and light. They should be very skin-friendly because of being very airy and light, quips Ramam. (IANS)