While cow safety seems to have become our country's most pressing concern, the callous attitude towards women has been the cause of a lot of angst. While action against those harming cows is immediate, people turn a blind eye towards the violence women are subjected to. Twenty-three-year-old Sujatro Ghosh has started a photo project highlighting the issue.
As per a report released in 2015 by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), justice was served in only 21 percent of the 34,000 rape cases reported. Part of an Instagram series, the women in Sujatro's photos — standing in front of butcher shops or sitting in classrooms — are united by their cow masks.
The expenses for the project — shot in Delhi and Kolkata — have so far been borne solely by Sujatro, but with plans to expand to Mumbai and Bengaluru, he is looking to go the crowdfunding way.
Sujatro's project has gone viral and he has been receiving calls from people all over the world expressing their interest in participating.
Sujatro clarifies his stance, saying he himself is an animal lover and has no problem with cows being protected. What he is opposing is the country's present sociopolitical climate and the manner in which women's safety has been sidelined. One of his friends who participated in the campaign said that the probability of someone harassing her reduces when she steps out wearing a cow mask as no one wants to offend a god figure.
In a country where a rape is reported every 15 minutes, the fact that it takes so much time to address issues related to women's safety is a matter of huge concern. Contrasting this unfortunate reality with the prompt action taken to ensure cow safety, Sujatro aims to bring about a positive change.
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