A new year has begun, but looks like harassment of women will never be a thing of the past. On the first day of 2017, Padma Shri awardee Krishna Poonia took on a group of men who were harassing two teenage girls on a motorbike.
The two-time Olympian was waiting in her car at a railway crossing in Rajasthan’s Churu district when she spotted two frightened teenage girls cornered by the goons on the busy street. She immediately ran to the girls’ aid and tried to stop the misbehaviour, This scared the bikers and they started to flee the scene. However, the 39-year-old didn’t let the harassers get away so easily, and chased the three men down for 50 metres and managed to catch one of them.
“When I saw those two girls being harassed, I thought they could well have been my daughters. That made me go after the men,” the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist told the Hindustan Times.
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On witnessing the incident and Poonia’s bravery to haul the molesters, many people gathered to help them out. But by that time Poonia had already dialled the number of the nearest police station. While she managed to hold on to one of the three accused, two others managed to flee as the police arrived too late. A disappointed Poonia called up the police twice but all in vain. She later told the Hindustan Times, “How will the police ensure the safety of women if they take so long to act?”
She added, “The police station was barely two minutes from the spot but it took the cops some time to reach and I had to phone them twice. How will cops ensure women’s safety if they arrive late?”
Poonia then went to the police station accompanied by the two girls and helped them file a case.
“The problem with our society is that there are not many people who would raise their voice and protest when they see a girl being harassed. Instead, they choose to stay mute spectators,” said the athlete who represented India in the Beijing and London Olympics.
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In case you didn’t know, Poonia, a discus thrower, has made India proud many times in several international competitions, including the Olympics. She is tall and tougher compared to any normal person and is known to throw a 1kg discus more than 60m in international competitions.
Three cheers for the heroic athlete!
Feature Image Credit: Voux Magazine
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