With the influx of crime and the taboo attached with reporting the crime; we decided to take our LSE girls beneficiaries to Sahar Police Station in order to make them aware of the process of reporting crime, if any. It was also done to make them understand and be comfortable with the environment most feared. A total of 45 girls were present during this activity.
The main objective of this activity was to make these girls well acquainted with the workings of a police station, hierarchy, its mechanism and the executive and judicial procedures that are to be followed. They were also made to understand their rights and the proceedings of a court. The girls visited each department to understand their workings specifically.
The police officials guiding these girls were Senior Police Inspector, Mr. Prashant Marde; Police Sub Inspector, Mr. Jadhav and a Lady Constable.
What they learned—
- In a police station there are always lady police officers available to help one out.
- The process of filing a FIR.
- The difference between a FIR and NC.
- Post sunset a women cannot be arrested or be called to the police station for whatever the reason.
- Helpline for women—100 and 103.
- What exactly are domestic violence and the Domestic Violence Act, 2006.
- The process of filing a complaint for domestic violence.
- Child Marriage Act.
- What is bail and the difference between a cash bail and a security bail.
- The process of granting a bail.
- Sexual Harassment Act.
- What exactly eve teasing means and how one can get help and punish the offenders.
- The process of joining the police force; recruitment, eligibility criteria etc.
- What is an MPSC and UPSC exam to obtain a higher position in the police force.
- Court procedures.
This activity proved to be highly fruitful for the LSE girls as its important for each women/girl to be aware of their rights and not be afraid of approaching a police station to report any grievance.
It was nice to hear words of appreciation from the police officials; Mr. Jadhav (PSI) and Mr. Prashant Marde (Senior Police Inspector) who said, “It’s a good initiative taken by Mumbai Smiles team for the girls to visit a police station. Nowadays, a lot of incidents are happening wherein the girl is unaware of her rights, laws, acts which work unfavourably for her. Hence, it’s important for the girls to visit a police station because once they are aware they can come to the station without any hesitation or support and protect themselves”.
The girls seemed relieved and a sense of accomplishment lit their faces. They said, “Before this visit we were scared by even listening to the name ‘police’ in the community. But now that fear is gone and we can come forward to help ourselves and the others. We are now much aware of our rights and how we can avail them to protect ourselves”.
The main goal behind the LSE Project is empowerment and with this activity we have moved one step closer to reaching our goal. Thank you to all the police officials and of course Mr. Pravin Birhade (Field Coordinator, Future Smiles Project) for making this activity happen.