|girl getting bullied in school|
There she was… the little girl with her new pink lunch box that her dad had just bought her. It was the first day at a new school. 3rd grade, she was growing so fast. Newly moved to the city with her parents, she had to mingle with not only the new surroundings but also with the new kids at her new school. She hated to enter this new territory. But her dad promised her that she will be treated like a princess here. This school loves new-comers and she will make many friends in no time. He promised. The little girl wiped her tears hearing her daddy’s words and waved him good-bye. No sooner had her dad left her, than she was surrounded by four kids, bigger and older than her. “Hello new-comer, what’s that you holding?” enquired one kid, while the other kid pulled the little girl’s plaits with glee. The little girl back-tracked with fear in her eyes. “Where do you think you are going?” the third kid pulled her roughly. She tried to call for help but the kids surrounding her were so tall that she could barely see over their shoulders. “If you scream or cry loudly, we will tear your new dress in half” threatened one of the bullies. The girl was too petrified to stand up for herself. She let them grab her new pink lunch box. She let them push her to the ground as they gleefully ran with their new stolen treasure. First day of her school, she had barely entered the school premises and what a bullying welcome she got!
Her dad had obviously made a mistake. This was not a good place to make friends. She decided to tell her dad about this and braced herself to face the rest of the day. After the last school bell, she was more than glad to go wait for her dad outside. As she made her way out of her class, someone gave her the leg, making her to trip and fall face down with a thud. Her hands got badly bruised as she tried to avoid the fall. The four bullies were back and were having a good laugh at the girl’s misery. “You know, we hate tattle-tales … you are not planning to go running to your daddy with stories are you?” asked one kid. “If you do, you will receive an even better welcome tomorrow”, warned another kid throwing the empty lunch box back at her as the four bullies walked away. She was 8 years old and a new found terror circled around her. Never had she experienced something like this. Bullying… She was being bullied right now but she barely knew what bullying meant. When her dad asked how the first day of school had went, the little girl silently replied a positive lie. She was scared and bruised both physically and mentally to even bring up the actual events that she happened to face that day. She hoped that keeping her mouth shut would make those older kids leave her alone. Poor little girl, how naively wrong she was. The next few weeks went by and the new school was a place of suffering for this little girl. Her bruises got worse, she frequently happened to lose her belongings. Her parents thought she was being merely clumsy and scolded her to be more careful. She got more reprimands for losing all her new things. Her own mother failed to notice the actual truth being hidden by her 8 year old daughter. Every time the little girl lied to her parents, her eyes were silently pleading them to notice the hidden truth. Two months later, on a day just like any other, her dad noticed that his daughter was nowhere to be seen when he came to pick her up. On a closer inspection with the school faculty, he found out that she was lying, unconscious on the toilet floor, with bruises so severe that she had to be hospitalized for a month to recover completely. Finally the truth was out, but at what expense? At the expense of the little girl’s inner spirit. She was mentally depressed after this ordeal and it was a challenging task to get her back to her cheerful self again.
|eve-teasers in the night|
Mean while, in a different city and under a totally different situation and circumstance, there she was… a young lady in her mid-teens. A high school student by day and a volley ball player by evening. She was born and brought up in a severely conservative family and they restricted her to go anywhere else but school. But she had fought with her parents a lot to let them give her permission to pursue her skills in her favourite sport. She was forbidden to wear shorts like the other girls. But she didn’t mind as long as she got to play the game in the evening. The sports field was 2 kms away from her home. One late evening, her bicycle happened to have a puncture. She was pushing her cycle through the dark street and suddenly she heard a fast moving motor-bike behind her. Before she could turn and look, the bike was right next to her and in the next two seconds, a rough hand grabbed and slapped her behind and before the girl could assess what was happening, the bike was gone. She didn’t even get the chance to shout at the monster riding the bike. With anger and shock blazing through her, she quickly made her way back to her home. She dared not tell her parents about this. They were already scolding her for reaching home so late. If they came to know about this incident, they would surely ban her from leaving the house in evenings. A few weeks passed and the girl almost put the incident behind her. But little did she knew that she was now being stalked by the same monster who had eve-teased her a few weeks back. One such evening, the monster grabbed the opportunity to confront her while she was riding home alone. The manner less brute came close to her and asked her to go with him. This time the girl wasn’t dumb-founded. She knew it was the same guy and that made her even angrier to think that he had the nerve to behave so heinously. She did what she thought was the right and justifiable thing- she slapped the brute once and without further words, she quickly rode back home. Yet again, she didn’t dare tell her mother and father about this incident. Her mother sensed she was upset about something but when she tried to ask, the girl refused to talk and went to her room. The very next day, tragedy took place in the girl’s life. No sooner did she leave the house to go to school, than the brute; along with his friend chased upon her and the brute threw a bottle of acid on the girl’s face. The girl, although survived the acid attack was disfigured for the rest of her life. She became the victim of her own fate.
You see, the above are two independent incidents, the likes of which commonly takes place in every nook and corner of our nation. Bullying and Eve-teasing…. The two major crimes that takes place under the radar of our nation’s law. Bullying is a form of an aggressive behaviour that is forced upon victims who are usually weak to stand up to themselves and fight the oncoming harassments. The harassments can be of any form- verbal or physical; an act often replenished on the same victims through various methods of emotional blackmails and other forms of intimidation. Bullying is often seen at schools and colleges where the senior students usually choose the juniors as victims for their experiments. No kid is born with a cruel intention. They often pick such behaviours off the television or may be due to the surroundings in which they are born and brought up. In most cases, if the father figure is abusive on the child then the child tends to show the same aggression on fellow kids at the school. Even I was a victim of bullying in one of my school years. Not only I, but many kids in my class became the victims on one such occasion. A group of boys from the higher class self-assessed themselves as the class monitors and said they were assigned by their teachers to our class during lunch breaks and we blindly believed those boys. Every lunch break, they used to come to our class, pick a few helpless kids as victims and they used to beat them black and blue with wooden scales. I’m shocked to remember that even I have undergone the rule of such bullies in my life. I was too scared to speak two words back then and alas, I got my share of unjustified beatings from those boys. Had I had enough courage to voice my own opinion back then, I’m sure things would have been different. But I endured the pain silently along with most of the kids in my class. Thankfully one of the teachers found out about this sooner and those boys got their share of deserved punishment.
By spreading proper awareness among students and parents, bulling can be controlled to some extent. It’s a duty of every parent to make sure their child is not being harassed in his/her school. It’s a very sensitive age to undergo such physical and mental torture. I wish I could ask every kid to stand up to themselves and never let the shadow of bullying upon them. But all kids are not born with bold and outright nature. It should be every teacher’s and parent’s duty to ensure that the kids are not having any problems at school.
Coming to eve-teasing. Well, it’s another form of bullying but alas it’s not something a child inflicts on another child. It’s in fact an outrageous crime that comes face to face with every woman across India and the rest of the world. Some low lives think there is no harm in simple jeering and cat-calling and groping random women in public as it would give them the satisfaction of god-know-what. But any form of eve-teasing is a tone-down term for sexual harassment on women. No educated man with a little bit of common sense would ever mistreat a woman in public like that. Unfortunately, in many situations even an educated man becomes ruthlessly indisposed in the face of some so called “sexual thrill”. According to Section 298 (A) and (B) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), if a man found guilty of making a girl or woman the target of obscene gestures, remarks, songs or recitation will be sentenced to a maximum jail sentence of three months. But how much of this rule is our government really following? We hear rape cases, acid victims and eve- teasing on regular basis that has almost made this whole thing to be viewed as casually as a common- crime in a “wattcha-gonna-do-abut-it??” manner. But one cannot blame this entirely on the justice of the Indian system. Every woman undergoes eve-teasing more than once in her life. Some are bold enough to stand up to themselves. They take up the bold initiative and lodge complaint to the nearest authority. But how much can you expect from a helpless teenager? They are just opening their eyes to woman-hood and already they are fast becoming victims to this atrocious crime called eve-teasing. The least they can do is confine such incidents to their parents. Here comes the parent factor! It is very important for the parents to give an open support for their daughters. As I described in my second part of the story, it’s not only the girls who dress boldly undergo eve-teasing. Even a simple conservative girl would be targeted by these monsters. Had her parents given her more support rather than restricting everything she did, she would probably have told them when she experienced the groping attack the first time itself. This would have prevented the latter events that took place. But not only parent’s support but a lot many other factors come into picture when it comes to eve teasing. Poverty plays a main role. In rural areas, this act is probably more common and yet completely hidden from the public eye since the victims themselves seldom wears the courage to speak out loud. I wish I could tell all these ladies to stand up to themselves and fight. Just fight. I’m glad states like Delhi and Bhopal have taken up initiatives and protests against eve-teasing. I would gladly join their ranks and render my support.
So if I could bring upon a change in this society, then I would support for a positive change that would put an end for both Bullism and Eve-teasing. No child deserves to be picked upon and no women deserve to be sexually harassed. One must stand up to themselves and fight. Just fight. We are not born in this world to live; we are born to live and to fight our way where there is injustice.
And as an old saying goes;
Knowing others is intelligence.
Knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength.
Mastering yourself is true power.
If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.