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Monday, February 23, 2015

What it takes to be a leader

While preparing my presentation on leadership for Warwick University, India Forum in the UK, my views have substantially evolved over the last few weeks.
Earlier I used to bunch together ideas on leadership as one group, such as the need for self auditing, trust worthiness, and so on. But it was not the same with this preparation.
This time, soon after the Delhi election results, when I got to know that I was not elected, and was hence free to be my own master and will have time to travel, I confirmed my pending invites, beginning with a talk at Warwick on leadership, women and social work.
As I got down to think and plan, I questioned myself as to which leadership I was talking of? Is leadership of only one kind? Is it not a set of different skill sets in different set of circumstances or positions?  Dependent on the role, does it not need a specific tool kit for success?  If so, which are those qualities?
And are there any common traits across all leadership positions? If so, which are the common ones that are absolutely essential?
It is amazing how one’s mind debates with one’s self. If only one would listen. I penned down my answers and thoughts on a white sheet of paper. I did not want any technology to come in between the thoughts and my paper. I had got hold of a packet of coloured sketch pencils to express the rainbow of my inner thoughts (which became my slides for Warwick).
For the first time I divided leadership in clear segments such as academic, corporate, civil service, social work and finally political (from my new hard-earned experience). It is this last learning which has expanded my thinking on leadership.
It also made me realise how different skills sets are needed for political leadership. I identified, based on my lifelong experience and observations, the key leadership qualities needed under each leadership head/ box.
I listed them down, and realised how each position was different in priorities and how vital it was to know the differences. But I also identified two commonalities across all kinds of leadership that are essential to be a leader — endurance and communication.
Without endurance, no leadership can be achieved and sustained. Endurance is a comprehensive sustaining power. It implies physical and mental tenacity which is learnt, acquired and practiced over the years.
Hence, if women who want to make it to the top in physically demanding fields have not played competitive sports as students, it will be exceedingly hard for them put to compete at the highest stressful levels, for the demands of the position will not be a level playing field.
It requires a reservoir of physical stamina and mental strength. (This applies to both, men and women). Second quality is communication skills. If a leader cannot communicate, he cannot survive.  This means a strong voice with strong shoulders (robust health). Both these qualities of leadership are basic and essential for all forms of leadership.
But now let us look at other forms of leadership.

Academic
The main keys to stay ahead in this category are: depth of research and its communication. Without this, the educator would exhaust his ideas after a while and the students would stop following him.

Corporate
The keys are strategy and vision, without which the business or the corporation will stagnate and perhaps go into losses.
Civil service
He is one who is selected on merit and is there till he retires. The key quality of leadership expected of him is, commitment and being self-driven since he has the most secure leadership position. He stays on in service even when performance is average.

Social Work
Key quality is to have a missionary zeal based on compassion. This is one service which one volunteers to do out of sheer love.

Political
This category demands raw ambition and cultivated networks. All other skill sets follow. But no political leadership can sustain without ambition.
My aim of sharing these critical differences of youth leadership at Warwick was to help students to choose what they wanted.
And that if they make leadership switches they must do it with knowledge of the required skill sets.
And if they wish to cut across what are the essentials, they can ignore only at their own peril. Of course everything in life can be learnt. But how do you do it if you have no time, and at what cost?
At nation’s cost — when the quality of life and the time of millions is at stake? I wanted the budding leaders in Warwick youth to be conscious of these vital needs, to minimise mistakes.
But I began by saying that one is always a person first and then a leader. Ask yourself, who are you? What do you want to be? What do you think is the bigger purpose of your life? Have you thought it through?
Or will you grow up, get married, have children, earn well, grow old and die? If so, then why be at Warwick? Why not at a zoo? Because this is what all animals do. They are born, grow up, bear children, grow old and die.
India needs true leaders, who are authentic, focused, can self evaluate, remain creative, are trustworthy and more.
But other than the basics of endurance and communication, to be successful, every form of leadership demands a special skill set, while knowing yourself.

Monday, February 16, 2015

An open letter to fellow Indians.

An open letter to fellow Indians.

Indian Democracy if it truly wants many well meaning people to stake their experience for mature and good governance, needs a civil culture and law abiding environment. ( I am being mild in saying this) 
Here is my tryst with electioneering.
Hope to see it change in my life time....
-----------------------------------------------
Am relieved my parents were not alive to hear the foul words hurled at me. 

I opted for electoral politics not for position or power but for serving the city which is my home for last over 40 years.  A city which I have served  in various capacities, though thick and thin.
I saw it through various challenges, International sports events, VIP security, political upheavals, communal riots, agitations, and more...

On crime front I saw it through when Delhi was hit by terror from outside. I spent years to catch a wink with boots on and with wireless blaring to get on the street any moment. 
I did crime prevention saving women from being raped in rural areas on dark nights by erstwhile criminal tribes with literally no cops on roles..by involving village young men to patrol at night. While I was personally out 5 nights a week. 

Conducted traffic managment for Asian Games with hundreds of students doing traffic duties, when my senior wanted to send me to Japan on a course, just to edge me out. Traffic was revenue for some...
Another time when a district was ridden with bootlegging I managed to dry them out and rehabilitate them to honourable living...or rag picking children sent to schools, now become community colleges and many of the same children become teachers...

Or opened drug abuse treatment centres from police stations never heard of...
All this became a life long mission and will remain..

I did it all not for any glory,  I did it because the service and situations demanded it...
I stepped into electoral politics because I wanted to give my city all I still had, when i was given the feeling that I could be of value. I wanted to see it get a stable government in alignment with Government of India to get all that Delhi needed. 

I also wanted to not die one day with a guilt that I was commenting only and never daring to pass the ultimate test of electoral politics. 
I have failed the test. And take full responsibility for my decision. 
But inside me has not failed. Because given the time I gave to myself I gave it all the energy and experience I had. Obviously it was not enough. 
In such trying situations one does not meet the challenge alone. There are several factors which play a vital role. And each one did.  I wish to add nothing more. History will keep analysing till cows come home. And as I read them, each one of them makes sense. And worth being reflected upon. 
The wise will read each one, and take due notice...

On the election trail I wish to say, we need to rework the way we campaign. Whole City or State comes to a grinding halt. Should it? 
Roads are in disarray, and work just stops. Everything is too loud,  uncouth at times, insulting to thin skinned, false, insinuating, biased, revengeful,  corrupt, wasteful, highly disruptive of common man's needs,  breaking all laws, and sending all wrong messages. It's not a level playing field for the levelheaded serving people. It's a field for might and muscle in all respects. 
We need to address these. Hope to see it in my life time.
People need services to be delivered. They want integrity, trustworthiness, and professional commitment. But they also want an implementable vision and plans.  But they also want freebies...more you give, more you get.  
They do not get it still, that there are no free lunches in life. If  you rob Peter to pay Paul, it won't be long before all get robbed. 
Also all campaigning must be become lawful, transparent, facts and evidence based, civil, organised, more technology driven, reasonable, unbiased, neutral through different mediums, etc.  
Space could be allocated through neutral empires appointed by the Election Commission as per laid down rules based debates and also grass root work done, and let candidates be chosen on the basis of performance or implementable ideas. Which means widespread use of Television reaching out to the last mile...
Public 'appeals' through use of congregations must be not be allowed and considered a violation of laws. Hence must be banned.

Its time every public servant becomes a stake holder in governing this country. Needs of people have far outstripped what the country can provide for,  be it water, power, roads, public transport, schools, teachers, doctors, jobs, skills, and even girls. Forget about security for women...Only God knows how long women will continue to suffer...

In the end I wish to thank all those who reposed their trust in me. And to say I am sorry I could not measure upto theirs. 

And also all who called me with foulest possible names. 
I am relieved my parents were not alive to see this...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Relieved that my parents not alive to hear the foul words...

I opted for electoral politics not for position or power, but for serving the city which is home to me for the last over 40 years. A city which I have served in various capacities, through thick and thin.
 
I saw it through various challenges -- international sports events, VIP security, political upheavals, communal riots, agitations, and more.
 
On crime front, I saw it through when Delhi was hit by terror from outside. I spent years to catch a wink with boots on and with wireless blaring to get on the street any moment.
 
I did crime prevention, saving women from being raped in rural areas on dark nights by erstwhile criminal tribes with literally no cops on roles by involving village young men to patrol at night, while I was personally out five nights a week.
 
I conducted traffic management for Asian Games with hundreds of students doing traffic duties when my senior wanted to send me to Japan on a course, just to edge me out. Traffic was huge revenue for some.
 
Another time when a district assignment was ridden with bootlegging, I managed to dry it out and rehabilitate illicit liquor sellers to honourable living. I sent rag picking children to schools, which are now community colleges and many of the same children working as teachers. I even opened drug abuse treatment centres from police stations which were never heard of.
 
All this became a lifelong mission and will remain so.
 
I did it all not for any glory; I did it because the service and situations demanded it.
 
Wanted to give Delhi all I still had
 
I stepped into electoral politics because I wanted to give my city all I still had, when I was given the feeling that I could be of value. I wanted to see it get a stable government in alignment with the Government of India to get all that Delhi needed.
 
I also wanted to not die one day with a guilt that I was commenting only and never daring to pass the ultimate test of electoral politics.
 
I have failed the test and I take full responsibility for my decision.
 
But inside me has not failed. Because given the time I gave to myself, I gave it all the energy and experience I had. Obviously it was not enough.
 
In such trying situations one does not meet the challenge alone. There are several factors which play a vital role. And each one did. I wish to add nothing more. History will keep analysing till cows come home. And as I read them, each one of them makes sense and worth being reflected upon.
 
The wise will read each one, and take due notice.
 
Need to rework the way we campaign
 
On the election trail, I wish to say we need to rework the way we campaign. Whole city or state comes to a grinding halt. Should it?
 
Roads are in disarray and work just stops. Everything is too loud, uncouth at times, insulting to thin skinned, false, insinuating, biased, revengeful, corrupt, wasteful, highly disruptive of common man's needs, breaking all laws, and sending all wrong messages. It's not a level-playing field for the level-headed serving people. It's a field for might and muscle in all respects. We need to address these and I hope to see it in my life time.
 
People need services to be delivered. They want integrity, trustworthiness, and professional commitment. They want an implementable vision and plans. But they also want freebies -- more you give; more the demand and in return more the gains.
 
Many do not get it still, that there are no free lunches in life. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, it won't be long before all get robbed.
 
Also all campaigning must become lawful, transparent, facts and evidence based, civil, organised, more technology driven, reasonable, unbiased, neutral through different mediums, etc.
 
Let candidates be chosen on basis of performance or implementable ideas
 
Space for public speaking or visual presentation could be allocated through neutral empires appointed by the Election Commission as per laid down rules based debates and also grass root work done, and let candidates be chosen on the basis of performance or implementable ideas -- which means widespread use of Television reaching out to the last mile.
 
Public ‘appeals’ through use of congregations must be not be allowed and considered a violation of laws. Hence, it must be banned.
 
It’s time every public servant becomes a stake holder in governing this country. Needs of people have far outstripped what the country can provide for, be it water, power, roads, public transport, schools, teachers, doctors, jobs, skills, and even girls. Forget about security for women, only God knows how long women will continue to suffer.
 
In the end, I wish to thank all those who reposed their trust in me. And to say I am sorry, I could not measure upto their expectations.
 
And also, all who called me with foulest possible names. I am relieved my parents were not alive to see this.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Friendly registration of crime

I just read in the papers about the press conference organised by Delhi Police wherein the police commissioner informed the media how police cases under friendly registration had doubled in 2014. The graph showed a jump in crime registration figures from 54,287 in 2012 to 73,902 in 2013 to 1.47 lakh in 2014. In a way, more than 100% increase in registration of crime.

Remember, how in the Delhi rape case of December 2012, the complaint was being shuttled from one police station to another, late in the evening, claiming jurisdiction issues. Had the police station in south Delhi responded to the complaint by the informant at that time, the gruesome crime of rape that happened subsequently could have been averted.

The exposure of these fault lines led to a national outcry. And wholesale instructions were given for zero tolerance for such callous responses. This meant willing registration of crimes of all kinds, and certainly of complaints by women. Campaigns by the media and all others, whoever could, exhorted women to report if they wanted criminals to be punished.
But this social need led to opening up of the hitherto indifferent police station to registration. Remember, changes in law also happened through the Justice Verma Committee where non-registration of crimes became a cognizable offence. Now, any duty officer reluctant to register crime ran the risk of getting caught and departmentally dealt with.
Earlier, it was almost the opposite. I recall the days when a particular police officer dared make the registration of cases free, and the crime figure soared. He was hauled up and considered foolish or inept as he did not know how to manage crime.
Earlier days were all about management of crime. When registration of robberies or heinous crimes was recorded, many of us were made to feel as if we had committed the crime. We went sleepless, both to prevent in real terms, or hide it to the maximum extent, or work it out even by falsely implicating innocents, to show it was worked out.

CHANGING TIMES
Today, the capital of India has changed. It’s accepting high figures of crime registration and looking at it with the right interpretation as the need for more prevention, better detection, more arrests and effective punishments.
What about other cities and states? Are they reflecting the actual crime figures? How does one know? Who assesses it? Do we have any surveys, statewide or districtwise? When universities and law schools can get involved?
If we really want to bring crime under check, we will have to truly assess the extent and patterns of crime going unreported and involve research and educational institutes in doing so. Then alone will we be able to truly assess our real shortages in policing and criminal justice systems.
How much can be financially provided for and how much of its deficit will have to come from community resources will get known. We may be able to identify many under-utilised segments, which can be co-opted and energised.

TIME TO TELL TRUTH

But it’s time to tell the truth about the real crime scene. After six decades of policing, the capital city has just begun to reveal. It’s still a beginning. A lot is still hidden in PCR calls and messages received otherwise by use of technology. Mapping them all along with actual FIR registration will give an idea of the crime scene. Maybe the home ministry could issue some guidelines on a more holistic, annual analysis, if not already done. Let us expect a more comprehensive analysis in future, but the wall of non-registration has been broken by Delhi Police.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Rape: A lot has still not changed

A lot has changed since December 16, 2012. But a lot has yet to be. Let's look at what has changed.
Women are comparatively reporting much more now. This is indicative from rise in reporting of cases of rapes or molestation or what is called "eve-teasing". Earlier, they would hesitate to report and get their statement recorded as they were not sure of the police response. Now they know police has to record their complaint and act immediately. They also know that if they do not report, the accused will go scot free. And who knows can even come back to them, but would most certainly be out of legal bounds. Therefore, if they want the culprits caught and exposed, they have to report. They are taking that risk now. The police, too, are registering more willingly now.
They are not afraid of reporting rise in figures in this crime as they know it is safer for society as well as the department. They have also been sensitised to an extent. Also this has been mandated by law; since not recording is also punishable now and certainly the police do not want to risk that. As a result, the police response to arresting the alleged perpetrators is also brisker owing to better coordination. This is evident in the recent case, where the cab driver: the offender was quickly traced and nabbed. Police, at least in metros, do not want to get negative exposure. Senior officials also step in early to take stock of all the events in such incidents. Media plays a big role by making it a 24x7 news event and creating pressure on the system. Courts are stiffer as we have tighter law in place. But... But...
A lot has not changed yet, which is causing a repeat injury to women in particular and society at large. It is all about the mindset towards women. No collective-synergised effort in the form of a social revolution is visible. This is clearly demonstrated by the crimes against women, which have now assumed epidemic proportions. Despite this, it is still not everyone's cause. There is also no appropriate coordination amongst government agencies to make public spaces safer. Whether it is public transport or public dark spots; licensing or enforcement; regulations or deployment; or use of technology, - there is still no unity of purpose, wherein we are assured that all accountable agencies will truly and sincerely work in tandem to fulfill a common objective. Mere meetings are not enough unless there is no mission statement of - "no more..." Had that been been the feeling, the message would have travelled down the line.
The judiciary needs to punish and enforce future prevention, by releasing no sex offender on bail easily (as Rampal Yadav clearly was). The judiciary should conduct day-to-day trials, (still not the case, though ) and if ever released, such accused should be under strict safety and surveillance.
The criminal tracking electronic data system pending since 2009 with government of India, has not seen closure. Hence, police verifications of tracking past criminals remains disjointed (this happened in the recent case when Delhi Police did not know the past record of Yadav in Uttar Pradesh).
Verification of past offenders is still not an essential operating procedure in all police stations across India as an essential tool of basic crime prevention. If this was a practice, such crimes would have been prevented. We have still not evolved when it comes to the mindset — how to treat women with respect. And this disrespect starts from nowhere, but our home where women are seen as dependent housekeepers (as seen in most cases). Parents and teachers have to take this up as a social revolution. Media must think twice before airing item numbers during peak viewing hours! Or why broadcast them at all? Transport administration, municipal agencies, police, courts and prisons too must take it up on a mission mode. Many of the public statements made by newsmakers should also reinforce the message - respect for women, instead of airing their own biases, prejudices and ignorance of facts.
In the midst of this atmosphere where women are not respected enough, we still have a long road to recovery. We can fast forward this journey though, only if we follow the six Ps - parents, principals, politicians, police, prosecution, prisons, and press. With leadership as hubs to effectively coordinate the efforts of all the above mentioned six Ps - individually and collectively; only then can we expect to change substantially before the next December 16.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Open response to Prime Minister's 'Mann Ki Baat'

Thank you sir for bringing into focus the challenge of drug abuse through your radio broadcast, 'Mann Ki Baat'.While you addressed the nation as an educator, reformer and a transformational leader, I add, for your consideration, a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the menace as the prime justice enforcer of the country.
Here is a strategy which we could employ to deal with the menace.What I am offering comes from my experience in law enforcement during my time with the Delhi Police, Mizoram Police and Narcotics Control Bureau, running drug abuse treatment centres under the Delhi Police and later by my NGO, Navjyoti India Foundation, treatment inside Tihar Prisons as IG Prisons, followed by my PhD in drug abuse and domestic violence.

I propose the solution under four main heads- supply reduction, demand reduction, treatment and rehabilitation and evaluation.
First ---Supply reduction
This step falls in the realm of law enforcement with community support. The primary objective is to cut off the supply of drugs.
To take this step, the local politician, which includes the municipal councillor and village heads, must be made primary stakeholders. The state government should send a clear message that drug abuse will not be tolerated, thus ensuring police performance and accountability in enforcement.
Every police station must have a thana-level committee where key stakeholders of the area come together once a month to review crime prevention measures, which include the issue of drugs.
This will ensure that all law enforcement agencies, dealing with narcotics enforcement, pool in intelligence which will hit at drug traffickers and weaken supply lines.
Second---Drug demand reduction
This step, sir, is what you spoke about. There has to be an increased sense of responsibility among parents and teachers to ensure primary prevention or early detection.
School children who become addicted to drugs tend to lag in academics and even drop out of educational institutions. They must know where to get help from.
As announced, the country must urgently set up a national helpline and outsource it to non-police personnel on the lines of the Punjab helpline-181- where any person can report or seek help. A call ensures the ambulance takes the addict to a hospital for treatment and informs police too. It also seeks a report of the action taken and satisfaction of the complainant to know the quality of service rendered. State authorities need to promote the idea further.
There is a pressing need for a national telephone number, with information about possible help centres. An added advantage of the centres would be that information about drug sale would be forthcoming.
Third---Treatment and rehabilitation
Major homework needs to be done at this step to set up standard procedures and good practices. Centres need to be registered and worthy ones must get reasonable financial assistance. Currently, government support to run a proper de-addiction centre is inadequate.
Also needed is a linkage of such treatment centres with skill development, an issue you are concerned about. Those under treatment should be taught skills for early rehabilitation. The step is therapeutic as well as cost effective to check relapse. Political leadership can ensure due resource generation from the government or community.
Abusing drugs, even for personal consumption, is an offence, though under certain conditions, such as addicts indulging in violent behaviour, which almost all of them are involved in. These people can be jailed and treated inside the jail for reasons of restraint required.
Prisons in India must be made smoke-free and with drug abuse treatment centres.
Addicts should be released on the condition that they will remain drug-free and regularly report to treatment centres in collaboration with NGOs under directions from courts. Enforcement agencies must be moved for forfeiture of sureties in cases of breach of bail conditions for money should not go in the hands of terrorists, as you mentioned.
A database of traffickers and abusers must be maintained for law to take its course. This will send a clear message that drug crimes will not pay.
As already mentioned, police must work in tandem with the Narcotics Control Bureau, the Border Security Force, Customs and other intelligence agencies. For this, the state police leadership or bureaucracy is vital. Local administration such as district magistrates and superintendents of police are important hubs for action at the grassroots level.
I recall that as a crime prevention measure, we used to track addicts to arrest them and send them to organisations for treatment and if they were found selling drugs, they would be sent to prison for treatment.
For the first time, the Delhi Police had to open their own treatment centres to meet the demand. This was the prevention and welfare role of the police. We worked closely with the community for support services.
Crime prevention cannot be achieved without the support of the community. For this, we created border groups and worked regularly with local bodies. We also opened toll-free phone lines where people could inform us of sale or consumption of drugs.
The judiciary too has a vital role in expediting drug cases and awarding stringent punishment to the guilty. Delayed trials make drug cases 'rewarding' as by the time conviction is achieved, substantial money has been made. Bail granted to drug addicts must be conditional on attendance at a government institution for regular checks to ensure the person is drug free.
Regular update in law training is essential for enforcers too. We used to keep track of all drug trials and keep past criminals and addicts under local watch. If they slipped, we went back to court to cancel their bails which meant stricter penalties.
Fourth- Evaluation
An annual evaluation of the above mentioned efforts must be conducted by law schools, universities and management institutions as part of their internships, projects or theses.
This will help all agencies stay up to date with evolving challenges. It is also important to provide accountability of all stakeholders which will open up our criminal justice system, while removing the drought of empirical research in the fields of criminology, psychology, sociology and medicine among others.
As you rightly said sir, the problem of drug abuse is multi-dimensional.
However, public representatives must take the lead. Unsparing and impartial police, caring parents and strict teachers, responsible community participation and an expeditious judiciary must work in tandem.
From Mann Ki Baat, the issue will become Samaj Ka Kartavya, providing relief to millions of families and youth.
Respected sir, I would feel blessed to serve my nation and to oversee the coordination of a programme that makes Indian youth healthy and homes free of the violence that accompanies this menace.
Jai Hind..

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Rohtak fightback a mirror to society

The incident in which three well-built men were molesting two college girls in a running, crowded Rohtak bus and no passenger helped the victims in the fightback is a mirror to Indian society. The driver and the conductor didn’t do their duty, which was to drive the bus straight to a police station to turn in the culprits. The mirror shows a society with a culture of “male entitlement”, a nation of onlookers, and callous public servants.
Repeatedly it is getting established is that women in general are insecure in public places and even within the four walls of their homes. This is a sad commentary on the social milieu and a cause for serious indictment for every Indian. We, perhaps, do not realise the huge social, psychological and economic cost of ignoring women’s safety, now and in the future.
Three Indias
While we address the mistakes, we have to put in place composite redress mechanisms to respond now and correct these in the long term, to minimise reoccurrence, if we have to stop it eventually. In my life, I have seen and experienced the Indian mindset, backward, medieval as well as modern. My parents, were modern and visionary, my grandparents medieval, and neighbours backward. India has lakhs of people in all three categories. The challenge is to reach out to the population without further loss of time, beginning with the minds that are closed and medieval.
After the Nirbhya case aboard a bus in Delhi, girls seem to be awakening, becoming conscious of their rights, place, and responsibilities; but boys seem to have been left behind in adapting to the changing times. Are some parents ignoring change? Are the teachers paying attention to the need to fill the gaps? Are their own mindsets updated? Are the political and social leaderships in tune with the times? Do they realise that society isn’t about vote banks alone but also people lives, and their words and actions will live beyond them. I hint at the need for them to be responsible in making public statements.
Bringing up boys
Today all what people say on television or radio or in the print media is stored for perpetuity in the “cloud” and retrieved easily. Earlier, we did not pay attention to the holistic upbringing of girls, because of which they were being left behind. Now we seem to be correcting, sometimes perforce, that historical wrong; but while doing so, we are overlooking the boys apparently and not working with them for nurturance. Today’s parents seem to be afraid of guiding their sons. The fear is of the son’s running away or answering back, being rude or violent, or taking to drugs or rebellion. In that case, what would happen to their old-age security, is the fear. The son is considered prime support in old age, while girls remain a migrant population still.
Women’s mobility
Girls have had enough and now will tolerate no more. It is evident from the way the two brave sisters fought back their molesters with their belts. They were in easy jeans and light footed, not always the case with girls aboard public transport; that too girls from a rural place.
The real harbingers of change are the parents, grandparents, teachers, social leaders, public servants, political activists, and the media’s unsparing alertness. India holds back her demographic dividend by limiting women’s mobility. It limits their potential and world. Whose loss? Everyone’s.
For clean society
We have to drive change by education, relentlessness, and sustained mass movements. Put in the culprits the fear of being caught, identified, exposed, and penalised heavily. Along with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, we need a Swachh Samaj (clean society) Abhiyan, starting from every home, school, college, university, religious place, social institution, or congregation. We need a new wave of care and respect for all, to replace the old apathy of indifference and being onlookers. Let schoolchildren starting from Class 9 learn to serve, be it in senior citizen’s homes, cancer hospitals, orphanages, shelters for the poor, Shram Daan campaigns, neighbourhood watch, literacy programmes, environmental drives, rural work, blood donation, or for any other cause.
Smart solutions
Use technology to put the fear of detection in molesters. Install cameras in public places and buses, as in Delhi Metro. In some developed countries, bus drivers can see the entire coach and have a wireless connect with the local traffic police. This will help us prevent and detect crimes against women; respond to the situation, and give exemplary punishment to miscreants.

All change makers have to begin from wherever they are. There’s no time to lose in waiting for others to start it. We all do with whatever we have, whoever we are, and be non-sparing in our effort. We have nothing to lose but everything to gain by contributing to a better quality of life. Here’s for a healthier, happier Indian society.