Hawa Mahal Talks: Antim Dwivedi & Anshu Harsh
- IWB Post
- December 30, 2014
We hope you are enjoying our Hawa Mahal talk series. The reason behind choosing this palace as our venue was simple. In the past, Hawa Mahal was built with ‘jharokhas’ (windows) so that the royal Maharanis would enjoy the happenings on the street from behind it, without being seen. The ‘Purdah’ system was practiced strongly during those times, and hence the women had to hide their faces.
After so many years, women still face unfair treatment from the society. To discuss just this, these two women from the Pink city turned into the Maharanis from the old era, talking about violence against women in present lifetime. Meet Mrs. Antim Dwivedi, SHO Police Department Tourism, and Mrs. Anshu Harsh, Owner Simply Jaipur Magazine.
Anshu – Hello, Antim. Let us talk about one basic thing – how can women approach police in times of crisis?
Antim – Just go to your nearby police station and explain your situation. If you are not mobile, use the help lines 100 and 1090. Also, I would suggest if it is very personal, ask for a female constable at the station. Woman don’t feel comfortable expressing herself to male policemen.
Anshu – But women seem to not trust Police.
Antim – That is because of the way investigations used to happen previously. But now the education level in Police department has gone up, and you can see many well-learned people joining the department.
Anshu – I think Police must begin some new projects to remove this perception like planning an interactive session or a cultural program with civilians.
Antim – Yes, and for that the work has already begun. We are currently planning on ways to have more accessible communication with people, may be via social media, etc. The talks are in progress.
After a pause…
Antim – Also, I strongly feel that the number of female constables must increase in the department so that the level of confidence and connection can be built up with female victims. Right now, women make about 33% in the department but I am glad, the new batches all around have so many women under training.
Anshu – I want to know how you tackle with women who come for FIRs? You have such calmness on the face that’s intriguing me.
Antim – Thank you. My practice is not some unique way, but human. I make sure I offer the victim water before she begins speaking, and I try my best to be compassionate while I communicate. See, if you talk rudely or start questioning at the beginning without hearing the story, you are going to further scare the already shivering person.
Anshu – Hmm.
Antim – But I have a complaint.
At that, everyone got alerted to know what it was about. She continued jokingly…
Antim – The media want bites, and most of the time, make police the culprit.
Anshu – Ha ha, guilty.
Antim – No offense. But I think Media and Police can collaborate for a better society.
Anshu – I support your thought. I also want to ask one question on behalf of so many young women who get eve-teased. What is the quickest way to deal with it?
Antim – We get cases of harassment on streets and at home. Sometime, we tackle it on a quicker note like I remember the case of the elderly 83 yr old woman from a rural area where I was posted few yrs back. She used to come to me telling about her old husband who used to beat her and wouldn’t give her food. I immediately took the call and sent a constable with the lady to her home. The policeman’s appearance and stern voice was enough to teach that old man the lesson. After that, he never harassed her.
In case of the street harassment, of course taking help of police is good. But I suggest you one more way of dealing – teach the culprit his lesson then and there. I am saying this because young girls come to us saying someone teased them on the bus. How can we now trace this ‘someone’? In such a case, taking step on your own is better. Either use your senses and quickly take this person’s photo or note his vehicle number OR learn basics in martial arts.
Anshu – I like the way you are, Antim. You are our female version of Chulbul Pandey – a strong cop with a good heart.
Antim – Thank you very much. Thank you for asking such simple yet important questions, Anshu. I understand women have doubts that they are hesitant to ask. I am sure our conversation will help some of them.