Damini Brigade to take on stalkers, eveteasers in Pimpri-Chinchwad

Eveteasers and stalkers, especially those found outside schools and college premises, are in trouble. Damini Brigade, which promises to "set the record" straight, has been formed in Pimpri-Chinchwad. And its New Year resolution is to tell girls and women: "Radaycha nahi, ladaycha (don't cry, take the trouble-makers head-on)".

Inspired by the fight put up by the brutally raped 23-year-old girl in Delhi who succumbed to her injuries last week, the Damini Brigade has nine homemakers and four college-going girls among its members. The brainchild of PCMC corporator Sulbha Ubale of the Shiv Sena, the brigade promise to rush to the help of women and girls in distress "in no time". "Besides our 13 members, we have the support of 400 women members from in and around Nigdi. We will be available on a mere phone call," said Ubale, founder-president of Damini Brigade.

Uable said the need for forming the group was necessitated because of what happened to the Delhi girl.

"The problem of eveteasing and stalking persists in Pimpri-Chinchwad. But women and girls here continue to suffer silently. They don't come forward to lodge complaints," she added.

About the functioning of Damini Brigade, Uable said its members would rush to the spot the moment they get a distress call. "If the trouble-makers are found at the spot, we will catch hold of them and give them sound thrashing before handing them over to the police. Besides, we will put up their photos in the areas where they live. We want to shame them and send out a strong message to other trouble-makers. This is the only language the eveteasers and stalkers would understand," said Ubale.

Asked if the Damini Brigade is not afraid of the violent reaction from the trouble-makers or possible police cases for resorting to violent means, Ubale said they won't care. "If women are to live life with dignity and safety, we have to adopt these means. There is no alternative. We cannot rely on the police. Even otherwise, girls and women are scared to approach the police," she said.

Ubale said they had already received response from girls who are facing trouble. "In two days, we have received at least 20 calls. Also, several people including men have complimented us and extend their support," she said. Appealing to women and girls to come forward and lodge complaints without any fear, Ubale said time had come for womenfolk to put their foot down. The Damini Brigade has also vowed to "teach all rapists a lesson". "We hope to catch the rapists before the police do and teach them a lesson," she said.

Welcoming the move, Anita Landge of Damini Bachat Gat, Kasarwadi, "This was a much required move in Pimpri-Chinchwad. The Damini Brigade should concentrate on areas outside civic and private schools where 'Road Romeos' are making life miserable for the girls. Also, outside several colleges, girls are the receiving end of these trouble-makers."

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