This Man Has Helped Catch 140 Harassers In The Mumbai Local Trains
If you’re like most college and working girls in Mumbai, you probably travel by the local train. And if you’ve done it often enough, chances are you’ve faced some form of harassment or the other.
From being eve-teased and groped, to being leered at and “accidentally” bumped into, we’ve faced it all! Sometimes we’ve fought back. Other times, we’ve ignored it and moved on, ’cause how are you going to catch them all? So when we heard about Dipesh Tank, we were pleasantly amazed. This guy has been helping police nab harassers on the local trains and so far they’ve caught 140 of the perps!
Dipesh grew up in the slums of Mumbai, and had a rather tough life! His father was often sick, and his mother worked long and odd hours just to run the household. At age 16, Dipesh gave up his education to help this mother out. After working odd jobs for a while, eventually he got hired by a reputed ad agency. But an incident that occurred while we was travelling to work, changed his life.
“I had gotten onto the train station for my every day commute, when I saw a group of men harassing women who were trying to get into the ladies compartment. I couldn’t fight them alone, so I went to the cops who initially tried to dismiss me. After some coaxing, one of the officers came with me — but by then these men had left. I was really affected by this — I thought of my own mother who would return home late after work and being harassed in this manner…wouldn’t I have done something? I could’t let it go,” he told Humans of Bombay.
Dipesh invested in a pair of sunglasses, fitted with an in-built HD camera to document the happenings in the local train. He would stand at the end of women’s compartment and recording everything within his sight, and his findings appalled him.
When he presented his evidence to the police, a team of 40 police began working with him to nab the harassers. Within 6 months, 140 of these men were arrested and jailed.
Today, Dipesh works on personal cases of domestic abuse and other harassment cases.
He says, “All men everywhere are looked at in a certain light, because of the few hundreds who create the chaos — I wanted to try and restore that balance. I have tremendous respect for all women, and it started at home — my mother taught me well… I didn’t respect anyone as much as her. And maybe that’s the message we should send out — raise better boys at home, and the world will know fewer disrespectful men.” We couldn’t agree more!
On behalf of women across the city, we want to say thank you to this man who’s helping make Mumbai a better place for all of us!