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‘Gudia’ moves HP to empower girls with safety tips

Archana Phull | Shimla |

The ghastly Gudia rape and murder case in Kotkhai area of Shimla that rocked the state in July last year has moved the new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Himachal Pradesh to empower girls with safety tips.

After the Gudia helpline and Shakti App by Police month, the Shimla district administration has now brought out a ‘Women Safety handbook’.

The handbook gives them tips on personal safety, important legal provisions and safeguards regarding crime against women, sexual harassment at work places and important helpline and phone numbers.

It tells the girls to keep potential weapons (like pen, pencil, nail filer scarf, hone charger or mobile phone) in their handbag for use in need.

“Gudia incident is a blot on the image of Himachal Pradesh, which cannot be erased. We are still waiting for justice to Gudia. We have tightened the law and order machinery, but such incidents still occur.

We need to create awareness among girls by equipping them with information on safety,” Thakur said on the launch of the handbook on Wednesday.

The CM said 200 complaints have been registered on Gudia helpline over the last month.

He distributed the handbooks to girl students from different schools and colleges in Shimla along with his wife, Dr Sadhna Thakur and Education minister, Suresh Bhardwaj and told the Education department to reach out to maximum schools with the handbook.”It’s just a beginning. The issue requires continuous efforts,” he said.

What made this idea of Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Amit Kashyap to print Women Safety handbook so special is that the Women Safety handbook has not only been printed in English and Hindi languages, but in Braille also to take care of safety aspect for blind girls, for whom the risk is more and who are often ignored in such endeavours.

“I am a girl and I can’t see. So the challenge is more. My parents never let me go alone. But at some point of time, I will have to move out independently.

I will read the handbook and will equip myself with this information,” said Vidya, a student of Class XII in Government Senior Secondary School, Portmore, Shimla.

Vidya received the handbook on women safety tips from the CM along with two more blind girls from Portmore, all of whom came with their attendant, Nirmala from school.

“Darr toh lagta hai. (It’s fearful). Sometimes I have to move all alone. This information in Braille is certainly of great help and will instill confidence in us.

We will be more alert now,” said Indu, a blind girl from Chamba, who is doing MA Political Science at Himachal Pradesh University here.