What you need to know:
- Readers write about the increase in crimes against women, tolerance and India's space mission.
Increasing crimes against women in India
By Renu Kala
Reading the news about rapes and abductions of young girls in India is very common these days. Small girls being kidnapped drugged and gang raped, and this has become the harsh reality of our society. These entire incidents are so disturbing and shameful. Women and young girls are not safe anywhere, and sometimes, not even in their own homes.
Many reports show how a family member, be it the father, an uncle or a brother is responsible for a rape or sexual assault.
I feel sad to write this but in India, these kind of offences are on the rise. Where are we heading? We talk about equality in India and sexual offence is a day to day crime there.
A rape victim gets humiliated in such a way that her body and soul also gets wounds forever. Most of the time the victim is scared to approach to the police; due to the threats she receives from the accused.
I live in one of the busy and beautiful town’s of Uttrakhand. Here, life is peaceful and safe for everyone. Women assault cases are very few, but some days back a heart wrenching incident came to light. A half-eaten body of a ten-year-old girl studying in class five was found by the police. This girl was missing for the past three days; she went to play with her friends and never came back. Her parents kept searching for her each and everywhere and later they reported it to the police. After search the police found her body in deep bushes, near a barren ground the body was half eaten by the dogs. Police have nabbed two of her neighbours who have confessed their crime.
The culprits were her father’s friends and used to visit her place as well. That scary evening the girl was playing with other children and these two culprits took her to an isolated area and raped her. Later they killed her and threw the body in the bushes. I felt so distressed thinking about the girl and her family. The helpless family was shocked and inconsolable.
When I read and hear about rape cases my blood boils and a feeling of shame emerges. Our country which is number one in every field, has a great culture, expert technology and we call it ‘Incredible India’. But the horrific fact is that our mothers, sisters, daughters are not safe. Being a mother of two daughters, I feel the recurring sexual offences have scarred lives of many women.
So many rallies, protest, laws, organisations working for this all, even so these crimes would only stop when the punishment would be stringent. In most of the cases the culprit comes out easily on bail due to easy laws. But if our laws and police are strict and the verdict is fast, this all can stop. Moreover, the courts must serve justice in a short time period.
However, being a parent I feel its mother’s duty to tell their daughter about good and bad touch from a young age only. We must teach our kids not to trust anyone and share everything with parents. As a society, it’s everyone’s duty to teach children right and wrong, and to respect women.
- The reader is based in India.
India’s Chandrayaan-2 setback and subsequent leadership display
By Naveen Bharadwaj
It was Saturday, September 7, 2019. The countdown had begun and the world was watching. In about 15 minutes, planet Earth’s only natural satellite, the Moon, was to have a couple of new guests on its far side of the southern pole.
Weighing roughly 1,500 kgs in total, these new guests Vikram (the lander) and Pragyan (the rover), crown jewels of India’s Chandrayaan-2 mission, were to probe the unchartered territories of the Moon, which many astrophysicists and futurists believe to have the potential to be a future settlement for the mankind.
All that was remaining for Vikram and Pragyan to soft land on the Moon’s southern pole and induct India to the world’s elite club was a distance of just 2.1km. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was at the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) in the tech-capital Bengaluru to personally witness this monumental moment.
Just as the audience were gearing up to start cheering, communication between Isro and Vikram-Pragyan was lost. What seemed like a minor setback turned out to be a major one. India had fallen short of a mere 2.1 kms and cost the nation roughly $140 million (Dh514,241,000).
Several nations have attempted earlier to land on the Moon but only Russia, China and the USA have been successful so far. They too needed more than one attempt but that is no excuse or justification for Chandrayaan-2 setback as the crew had toiled very hard for months and expected nothing less than success in the first attempt.
PM Modi was seen leaving the Centre within minutes of the unexpected announcement, only to return early the next morning for what is arguably the best motivational speech Isro received, and very much needed.
His heartfelt hug and consoling pats to a visibly emotional to Isro chief, K Sivan will be remembered by everyone.
Along with Isro’s tremendous commendable resolve, a true leadership was on display. And for that, the entire Isro team led by Sivan and Modi will be celebrated and revered over the years to come.
— The reader is based in Dubai.
Celebrating different cultures
By Namita Malhotra
Children often forget what they are told but they never forget what they see. It’s actually a blessing for all of us today to be living in a country such as the UAE where so many nationalities co-exist peacefully and harmoniously. It is important to be compassionate, kind and appreciative of cultural and religious differences.
No act of kindness is small, this year students of Amled School in Dubai, won over many hearts with their small acts of kindness and tolerance. The teachers were not to be left behind. This year, on the occasion of Indian Teachers Day, celebrated on September 5, they chose to visit the Jebel Ali Gurudwara, Guru Nanak Darbar to celebrate the Year of Tolerance.
On their visit, the mixed group of teachers who belong to different religions and nationalities, were given a guided tour of the temple by the manager and the head priest. It was a humbling experience as the Principal, Father Verghese Puthussery, a priest himself, was honoured by the head priest of the Gurudwara with an offering of the ceremonial saffron scarf. The head priest Sandeep Singh called out an ardaas (prayer) seeking blessings of God for all, and peace upon the world. He briefed us about the daily routine followed at this unique place of worship, which opens its doors to feed people of all religions, treating them equally without any bias. In his talk the head priest said that each one of us is a unique and precious creation of the creator and we must celebrate our uniqueness. The teachers then sat together on the floor to have the “langar” (free meal) that is served at the Gurudwara every day.
Teachers proved that they truly have the power to make a difference by celebrating differently! It may sound clichéd but this happens only in the UAE, thanks to visionary leaders who inspire.
- The reader is a Dubai-based educator.