An Indian student stood up to street harassment by grabbing her molester by the hair and dragging him to the police — all while bystanders casually looked on.
Pradnya Mandhare, 20, was traveling home from school in the Mumbai suburb of Vile Parle when a clearly intoxicated man, Chavan Chowdee, 25, approached her and began touching her.
The train station was crowded with people, but no one helped her as she tried fighting him off with her bag.
“No one came forward to help,” Mandhare said. “People stopped to stare, but no one bothered to even ask what was going on.”
Mandhare caught Chowdee by his hair and dragged him to the government railway police station, where he was arrested and will be charged in court.
The student struck a chord when she noted that many women do not report street harassment or sexual assault because filing a complaint takes time and the police can be “uncooperative.”
Street harassment is a daily occurrence for women, yet too many don’t speak up out of fear of shame, victim-blaming and the case not being taken seriously by law enforcement.
Yet Mandhare has a different perspective:
“Every woman should fight back in such cases and they should not keep quiet. I am grateful that the police also helped me and arrested the accused. I also asked the police officers to teach the accused a lesson so that he would not dare to molest a woman ever again.
“Parents of girls also think that going to a police station would tarnish their daughter’s reputation.
“But, women should raise their voice and teach such people a lesson. Women are not objects for anyone to touch at will.”