Women and Public Transport
My name is Ayesha and I am living in Azad Kashmir. After completion of my education I was appointed as a lecturer in Govt. College in a rural area. It was my first experience visiting that area. It took more than two hours from my city to the college.
So I began commuting daily through public transport vans.
One day, on the way back, I got the seat near the door. The conductor was sitting exactly behind me. After some time I realized he was touching my back and gradually he slipped his hand to my belly. I was astonished when I felt his hand on my body. But like most girls scared of dishonor, I turned back and glared at him. It was the only thing I could do at the time. I was afraid to speak up.
I was worried what other passengers would think about me if they knew or it would be insulting if they knew. I came back home and did not tell anyone about this because I knew my brother and father would go and fight with that person. And I didn’t want them to stop me from working. But personally I was feeling guilty and ashamed that how could I be so weak and how he dared to touch me.
I wept. For a long time I shed tears of shame and remorse.
Then, I decided to speak out. Because if I shut my mouth then I would continue to face harassment from perverted people like the conductor.
And it wasn’t even my fault that he touched me.
So next morning I directly went to owner of that transport and told him the whole story and said if he did not take action then I will call the police. He immediately took action and fired him.
Even though I spoke up a day later, I am glad that I did. I think about those 80 % women from my country who travel and face harassment while travelling in public transport. How they face such an unbearable situation. It is a short story but it is mine. Now it’s your choice do you want to drink this sour sip of life silently or want to raise your voice and fight against violence.