Sale of pepper spray as defence tool picks up pace

Shaken by the gangrape in Delhi, women in the city seem to have taken to tools of self-defence. The most popular one seems to be the pepper spray.

For 25-year-old Rutuja Bharadwaj of Aundh, a pepper spray offers a confidence to travel for her work at all times. "I work in the marketing business. There are no fixed timings for us, we have to travel to a lot of cities and all times. Having a pepper spray in my bag makes me feel prepared for anything that comes," she says.

These handy little devices can easily fit into the pockets and can be used from a distance of 6-8 feet, and are available at a number of stores across the city, including some medical stores. Priced at Rs 300 onwards, it easily incapacitates the attacker for 15-20 minutes, enough for anyone to run away and get help. Renuka Sonawane, co-owner of Security Planet store in Shaniwar Peth says, "Most of our customers are parents, brothers or husbands. Pepper sprays are affordable, travel-friendly and easy-to-use."

"We do get calls from other cities also with demand for pepper sprays to be delivered in bulk. Ever since the Delhi gangrape took place, sales of pepper sprays have shot up more than before. Now more women and their family relatives, parents, friends seem to be concerned and interested in buying this safety device," says Sonawane.

(With inputs from Ruby Gill)

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