Over a period of time safety
of women has become a major social issue in India. Crimes against women have
increased to great extent in the last few years. Rape and sexual harassment are
the two most brutal crimes against women. According to the National Crime
Records Bureau 38947 rape cases were reported across India in 2016. New Delhi
has been reported as the city with the highest rape cases. Other crimes are
also reported against women. For instance acid was thrown over the girl while
she was returning back home by the boy whose proposal was refused by her.
Another case was reported where a girl was stabbed twenty four times by the boy
in the market after she refused to talk to him. With the increase of crime
against women different weapons and instruments are introduced that women can
use for their safety.
Even though the devices are
available the question that arises is: can everyone afford it? The prices of
the weapons are set so high that only few will be able to get them. And the
one, which are affordable, are they powerful enough for the situation that
Weapons of Protection- Affectability and Affordability
was the very first weapon that was introduced in the markets for women to
Ninja Spike Keychain and Para cord Monkey Ball have also been made available that can be used by women for
their safety. These are few non-lethal weapons that can be easily affordable as
their price rate is as low as 50 rupees and maximum to 5oo rupees. While pepper
spray, monkey ball, key chain might provide some support in few situations and
gain some extra time but they might not be very helpful.
Knife on the other hand can be dangerous and be a safer device then the other. In
a case reported in 2007 a girl was able to save herself by using pepper spray
in the eyes of the boy trying to drag her with him. In another instance a lady
was able to protect herself by scaring of the guy by her folding knife, which
she wore like a locket. But then there was a case where a girl couldn't help
herself out of the situation even with the help of pepper spray because the
boys out numbered her. In the other case a girl found herself in a more
dangerous situation when she tried to use the knife against the culprit. So
while they are helpful they might not always come in handy. Therefore, other
powerful weapons were later on introduced.
Stun Guns and
Expandable Baton were later on
introduced in the market. Looking like mobile stun guns can give the person the
shock of their life with just one press of button. Cold Steel Honeycomb Hairbrush Dagger was later introduced and it played
a dual function. Apart from helping in combing ones hair, it also acts like a
sheath for the extremely effective dagger that it encloses within. The totally
docile looking hairbrush when pulled of reveals 3 1/2" dagger. These
instruments are expensive and may not be afforded by everyone. Their starting
range is 3000 rupees. They are affective but not affordable by everyone.
After the brutal gang rape of
the medical student in bus on 16 December the Indian government introduced the
new weapon in the list of safety weapons for women. They introduced the gun for
the women and named it Nirbheek.
With .32 calibers and weighing only 500 grams it can easily fit into the
handbag of the women. Calling it the ornament for women it is packaged in
attractive maroon-colored jewelry case. Guns introduced by government for the
safety of women costs around 150000 far beyond the reach of more than half the
population. Guns can be said to be the most affective weapon when it comes to
the safety of someone. The way the device is designed it will be really a
helpful weapon but only if one can buy it along with the calibers.
Students of SRM University of
Chennai also took an initiative and introduced SHE-The anti rape wear. Dubbed Society Harnessing Equipment (SHE)
is equipped with a GPS system, pressure sensors, and a little powerhouse device
that bears a potential of delivering 3800kV of electric shocks.
With many available options
of the weapons for women it is difficult to decide which one is the safest to
carry. To remove this doubt and to give options of many weapons together Dr.
Pavan Kohli, introduced a new gadget Samiidha
Bhavani. It can serve as baton, a stun gun and a Samurai sword. It also has
features like pepper spray, a panic button and a penknife. Claiming to be India's
first fully legal and comprehensive self-defense product for women it cost
around 1000 rupees.
Many different mobile apps
have also been introduced keeping in mind the safety of women like Safetipin, Raksha, Himmat, Women safety,
Smart24X7, Shake2Safety and bSafe.
If the girl is an owner of the smartphone then the mobile apps are easily
affordable as they are free and somewhat affective. No smartphone means no
Pepper Spray, Ninja Spike
Keychain, Monkey Ball are legal and can be carried around without any worries.
Expandable Batons and Stun Guns even though characterized as non-lethal are
illegal in Indian market. One cannot carry them or use them in the public
place. They can be used by the police officer of higher rank only when granted
with the permission.
Hairbrush dragger and folding
knifes are legal according to the Indian Arms Act, 1959 if the blade is less
then or is 5' inch long and 2' inch wide. Any dragger or folding knife longer
then that is called sword and is illegal. Even though the knife or dragger are
legal and can be carried around but not every place allow them to be carried.
Initially they were not allowed even in the metros but after many complains
reported by women they have allowed knife, which have 4' inch long blade in the
According to the Indian Law
carrying a gun around in the public places is illegal and punishable. Despite
that the weapon introduced for the safety by the government is gun. One can say
that they have called it right as the ornament for women as it will only stay
in the lockers like all the other jewelry. To own a gun it is necessary to have
a license. Having a license does not give right to carry the gun around. If
found carrying a gun in the public place one can be fined and if used one can
As Dr. Kohli claim that when
his device will be introduced it will be fully legal but the problem that
arises is that most of the weapons combined by him are illegal in India. And
even though it introduced in market just like the gun it has not been able to
attain the certificate of fully legal weapon.
Even with the number of
weapons introduced for the safety of women not all the weapons are made easily
affordable or legal to be carried by everyone and there lays the eternal
question: is it worthy to carry a knife and gun, and get in serious trouble
with the local law if searched or opt for a weapon not as lethal and risk
serious harm by not packing enough power.
Palash. (2014,January 01). Indian government introduces handguns designed for
women: self defense policy or exploitation?
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Heena. (2016, March 07). 7 best women safety apps. Gadgets Now. Retrieved from https://www.gadgetsnow.com/slideshows/7-best-women-safety-apps/Safetipin/photolist/51285631.cms on 13 February 2018.
capital: Delhi reports 40pc of rape cases in 19 cities. (2017, November 30). The Economic Times. Retrieved from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/crime-capital-delhi-reports-40-pc-of-rape-cases-in-19-cities/articleshow/61867820.cms on 13 February 2018.
4) Crime in India. National Crime Records Bureau.
Arms Act, 1959.
Bindu Shajan. (2016, April 07). Nirbhaya's parents unveil women's safety
device. The Hindu. Retrieved from http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nirbhayas-parents-unveil-womens-safety-device/article6972821.ece on 13 February 2018.