Increasing eve-teasing in the City
The problems bedeviling Bal Bhavan have been highlighted time and again. But there seems to be another more serious problem that needs to be nipped in the bud.
Every Sunday, Bal Bhavan which should be a haven for children becomes instead a haven for various gangs ranging from eve-teasing youth to groups who think that the sole purpose of Bal Bhavan is to provide a place to park their cars and settle down amidst the grass and drink till drunk.
Till recently a police Garuda used to parked to deter lumpen louts but it is conspicuous by its absence. This has encouraged local gangs to make it their base to gather and make merry while making the evenings of those women and children who come here miserable.
Speaking to a cross section of the few women who were pre-sent on Sept. 26, I found that most were not keen on complaining to the police for fear that they would be targeted
Said Fatima( name changed): if we remonstrate they just comment vulgarly and blow smoke in our face. They do not care.”
Young girls who accompany their parents are another target of these gangs as they make lewd comments within the hearing of the girls.
Rashmi (name altered) who was there with her children, said that there should be frequent police patrolling of the area and there should be strictly enforced 'No smoking' ban. This place is becoming dangerous to bring children."
Others also commented that they come here because there was space for their children to play but now this is changing. I found that there are no Bal Bhavan staff on duty, no toys or the usual playground jungle gyms etc. Even the toy train was resting with weeds growing between its wheels and all along the track. The whole place looks readymade for eve teasers..
Eve-teasing also seems to have become more rampant in other parts of the City especially the City bus stand as I discovered. The entrance to the City bus stand is infested with eve teasers among whom are many auto-drivers. They make filthy obscene comments on girls entering the bus stand. Inside the bus stand, groups of youth board buses to make lewd comments at girls and women and get off before the bus starts.