We present you with two scenarios. These are two separate gif comics. In both the comics, two school going girls are being sexually harassed. However, there is one aspect which differentiates the two comics.
The aspect that differentiates both these scenarios is bystander intervention. A lot of girls face sexual harassment on their way to school. This also often becomes a deterrent for them in accessing education. The recent story from Haryana where a group of girls went on a hunger strike demanding an upgradation of their school also brought out this aspect. Several girls spoke about how because of the unavailability of post-matric education in their village, they had to travel to another village for the same. On their way, they often faced sexual harassment and this was a hurdle for them in accessing their right to education.
While the issue requires interventions at multiple levels, there is one very simple form of intervention available to us. If we ever are witnesses to sexual harassment, we can speak up. We can intervene and not just be passive recipients of all the violence that engulf our lives. We have to counter this culture of violence with a culture of accountability where we all take responisiblity for creating inclusive safer spaces for one another. Do you agree?