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www.wmfd.com - Since last December's gang rape in New Delphi of a student who later died as a result of the attack, women's safety has been a hot topic in India. }}" />

   
 
 
Novel Response To India's Rape Problem

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 7/7/2013 Since last December's gang rape in New Delphi of a student who later died as a result of the attack, women's safety has been a hot topic in India. The government has responded by introducing fast track courts for rape cases. Tightening laws and imposing stricter punishment for culprits. Now, the local city government in India's most cosmopolitan city has come up with a novel approach to reducing sexual assault. Mallika Kapur explains. These lingerie clad mannequins were hard to find in Mumbai. Many shopkeepers have removed them from their store fronts. Because this local city official is trying to ban them. She says she's doing it to protect women in Mumbai. Which has India's second-highest number of rapes, after New Delhi. "I am not blaming every man but there are men who look at these mannequins, get excited and commit rape," says Ritu Tawade, of the Brihanmubai Municipal Corporation. Critics are tearing into her proposal. "I mean, I think it's ridiculous!" says Dolly Thakore, an actor. Most people here seem to agree with this activist and actor. "To say that that is turning these guys to commiting rape, molest girls and child abuse," says Thakore. "It's so warped, I can't believe anyone would think that." The move has stirred up a moral debate across a country where protecting women from sexual predators has been a burning issue since the December gang rape of a New Delhi student, who later died. Mumbai city officials say banning sexily clad mannequins will reduce the number of rspes. So they unanimously support Ritu Tawade's proposal to ban them. Even though Mumbai is home to the Indian film industry and the public is used to racy films and banners. Tawade says mannequins are indecent. If the city's civic commissioner approves the plan, as expected, all lingerie retailers will have to pack up their mannequins. "Most underwear manufacturers, suppliers and retailers agree on one thing," says CNN's Malika Kapur. "They say if the ban does go into effect, it will have a killer effect on their industry." Retailer Jaikishan Chotrani says in India's culture, most women are too embarrassed to ask for underwear. preferring to choose whatever's on display. "It makes a lot of difference because the get up of the piece is much better, find it more attractive and people tend to pick it very fast," says Chotrani. The head of India's intimate apparel association is worried a mannequin ban will hurt India's image as an economic power. "When the country is talking about FDI, bringing in giant retailers and on the other part, you are going to tell the retailers not to display products, not to use mannequins," says Yusuf Dohadwala, of the Intimate Apparel Association of India. He says the government should focus on the real culprit behind sexual crimes, the men who commited them, not mannequins in a storefront.
   
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