Imagine one day you are a state-level Kabaddi player and the next day you are forced to get your name off the school roll, for no fault of yours. This is what happened to two of the 40 girls who were forced to leave school, following rape threats and eve teasing.
The grief of the other girls, from the same school, is no less. The girls from two villages in Rewari, Sumarkheda and Katopuri, were studying in a school in the neighbouring Lala Village. The panchayat asked them to drop out following increasing number of eve teasing cases in the area. The final nail in the coffin was when a girl was allegedly gang-raped last month. Ever since, when such cases refused to die down, the panchayat carried out the easiest function they could -- ask the girls to stay at home.
This decision was taken even though the school is functional under the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme. The fact that even a government scheme could not retain the girls in the school is another reason to worry about the education of the girls in this country.
It is a society that is teaching "don't get raped" when it should inculcate measures to not rape. And unfortunately, incidents like these are making the former statement grow stronger leaving the victims to the mercy of their predators. By keeping the girls safe by restricting them, instead of fighting the real enemy, the panchayat has made two things obvious-
- If you are the girl and a victim, the panchayat won't even attempt to stand for you
- If you are the boy and a rapist/or a potential rapist, the panchayat seems to bolster your intentions by not even asking you to change your ways
While the predators, who may be responsible for another Nirbhaya-like brutal rape in the country, roam free, these girls are asked to lock themselves in their homes. I would like to see them do the same when a wild animal is on a killing spree in a village. Will they lock themselves up or fight the predator?