I hear all the stories people tell and how it has changed them. They say they always remember each and every detail which leaves an imprint on their mind. Some get molested by a known person and some by strangers. Few manage to get help, while others feel helpless. I am going to tell you my story; where it happened and how.
I was a student of Air Force School, studying in 9th standard. I was a very outgoing person and was the favorite student of my teachers. It was time for our summer vacations. For the initial 20 days, we are supposed to take extra classes and those used to be the best days of our school time. We used to have all the school premises to ourselves.
So the campus structure is that to reach our school we had to first enter the air base which is 10 minutes on foot.
There always stood 4-6 guards at the gate. It was our first day of extra class and I was so happy. I had a great day with my friends and we all spent the day lazily. We used to travel by auto to our school. Unfortunately, the next day, the auto driver didn’t come. So my father left me at the air base gate itself and asked me to call him when the day ends. He would meet me at the gate itself. They don’t allow parents to enter the school premises until they have permission from the principal or higher personnel.
So I asked the air force personnel to drop me at school because I didn’t want to be late.
They always used to give students lift whenever we asked. The day went on quite easily with my friends. When it was time to leave, I forget to call my father from our school phone to pick me up. That was my first mistake. I asked my friend who was on cycle to drop me at the gate and told her to leave as I thought my father would come soon. That was my second mistake. After 15 minutes, a personal standing on the gate asked me if anything was wrong. I said that my father was coming to pick me up. When he asked me in how much time, I replied in half an hour. (I didn’t know what the time was I just guessed).
He then asked me to come to the shelter near the gate to escape the summer heat. As a trusting child, I said yes and followed him to the shelter. That was my third mistake.
I should tell you that it was just a roof near the gate; not all walls and room just a piece of roof. As soon as, I reached the shelter, he came near me and starting chatting about school. He asked me for my details and I don’t clearly remember what we talked about. Suddenly, he dared to come closer to me as other personnel had left the gate for their lunch break. He started touching my breasts slowly. Being a naive girl, I didn’t know what he was doing. Just that I felt repulsed by it. I mumbled few words and left for the nearby market to call my father from a PCO.
I called him weeping and said to come as soon as possible. My father came within 15 mins and I stood near the PCO all the time, clutching a pencil in my hands. I thought if the personnel came to me again, I would throw it at him. The shopkeeper asked me to sit in the shop but I refused.
When my father came to get me, I had tears and shame in my eyes.
He asked me what happened but I couldn’t muster up any courage to give him an answer. I just asked him to take me home and said I was tired. I know he could read my eyes that something bad had happened. I never told anybody about this. Not even in my school, my friends, or family. No one ever knew this secret.
From that day on, I started becoming an introvert. I stopped talking to anybody, whom I didn’t know, especially those near the gate. What was my fault? I was the same girl I always was. I wore the same type of clothes others used to wear. Then why did it happen to me? I started fearing and loathing these men in services from that day on.
I knew I wasn’t being fair to all, but due to one person, I lost all my trust and respect for these people.
I know they do a lot for our country; they sacrifice a lot and help maintain peace in our country. But these kind of issues are not only limited to civilian population, some of these creatures of narrow mentality also make their way in these respected positions and make all others look bad. Still now listening to the news, I always think what kind of people they are. What kind of mentality they have. What do they think women are? Why don’t they think of girls and women as equals in society? Why have they made girls only a pleasure pad for themselves? Why can’t they come out of their narrow mentality and just think?
Oh sorry, I forgot. This is India and no girl is ever safe here.