Monday 25 September 2017

A Beacon of Hope!

Painting By: Ayushi Jain

How many times does it happen that you look for something good in the world and people shatter your hopes and destroy the meaning of humanity?

I don't write on social issues usually but an incident that happened a day ago when I was traveling to Bhopal from Pune by Jhelum express, shocked me to the core. No, I was not the victim but it happened right in front of me. A girl who was in the berth next to me was harassed and photographed without any consent. It all started when we boarded the train from Pune.

What I like most about train journeys is that how we develop a skill to interact with complete strangers and also sometimes end up making lifelong friends. I didn't know that my perception about train journeys would ever change before taking this trip. It always takes time for me to initiate conversation with strangers and to get comfortable with fellow passengers. I was traveling to my hometown i.e. Bhopal. A girl on the opposite berth, who was traveling alone for the first time to her hometown Jhansi had no idea that someone was staring her. Since it was a long journey we started the conversation to kill time. One of the guys sitting on side lower berth joined our conversation and started talking nonsense. Well, I really don't want to disregard anyone here but that person was from the army and posted in Ladakh. We didn't want to interact with him because he was using false language and that too in front of kids and women. After some time he was joined with one of his batch mates and then left their seat for a while. Since the girl was from IT background, we had common interests to share our work-related experiences. Suddenly the friend of the guy appeared again and started interacting with us.He seemed to be a better person. Still, there were no signs of anything fishy that was about to happen in few minutes.

A family who was traveling to Delhi boarded from Ahmadnagar. They had 4 seats in our compartment. As soon as everyone got settled, one boy from the family noticed that the same person who was interacting with us before was clicking pictures of the girl and he conveyed the message to her. She asked me to check and confirm whether it was really happening or it was just a confusion. In just a split second after that, she saw her picture on his mobile thru the reflection in the window. She stood up and grabbed that person's mobile and there we noticed that he clicked many of her pictures and even shot a video. The girl was stunned and so was other people in the compartment. We decided to take this case further and to teach that deplorable person a lesson.

It was 9 pm already and TT was also no way near our bogie. Since I had seen some of the cases resolved over twitter by Indian rail ministry. I thought of dropping a tweet stating the train and passenger details to Indian rail ministry and to the rail minister himself. Within few minutes I received a response from the Indian rail ministry account and then later followed up by different regional DRM office and RPF team. It all happened in just a few minutes after sharing the tweet. As soon as we reached the next station i.e. kopargaon. Two RPF officers came and noted her complaint. Since, we already crossed a different DRM circle, on next station the complaint was transferred to the Bhusawal RPF team. They noted the complaint and then asked the girl if she wants to file a registered complaint? She was ready to take action against the guy but she was told that she might need to come to the police station or court to take this case ahead. Meanwhile, that guy pleaded guilty (in public) and was begging for mercy. She was traveling alone and didn't want to spoil a soldier's career/life. Hence, she decided to take the complaint back. The guy was shifted to a different bogie later on.

What I felt that she stood up against the monster rather bravely and didn't give up till the last. It was only the circumstances and her kindness that made her take the decision of leaving that guy. Though I didn't want to mention it but he was an army officer. We all respect our army men and one person cannot spoil the image of those who fight for us on the border and give us the reason to live our life rather peacefully.

Social media has gone to a different level now. I never experienced that in person before but this incident made me believe in digital revolution. Twitter is proving to be a revolution when it comes to approaching the government bodies for help. I hope this will lead to a better India in future. Also, one must always take a stand against people who take advantage of others. There is humanity still left in the world. I experienced it when everyone stood up for the brave girl and defended her. We need more such people to take this torch of humanity further in the generations to come. Hopefully, one day this world will become a better place to live.


  1. I can’t imagine railway officials would reply to a tweet let alone so efficiently. Well, it needed really well for the lady....thank God!

    1. I wasn't expecting a quick response but railway officials responded rather efficiently and followed up on the case over twitter and in person. Things are changing here and am glad this is for a betterment of society. :)

      Thanks for stopping by Alok.