“While the faces in the seminars change, certain doubts are common pan India. Initially, I would fail to comprehend concerns of both genders but soon realised the extent of ignorance, unnecessary fear and the incorrect attitude of boys and men due to misinformation. It is very alarming,” Ramesh Pittala Mudiraj tells The Better India.
Ramesh has been on a mission to educate Indian citizens about the Indian Penal Codes (IPC) for women safety since two years. The 34-year-old is a Senior Analyst in a Hyderabad-based MNC and is currently in the final year of LLB.
He works the graveyard shift and, during the day, attends law college. Over the weekend, Ramesh conducts seminars and makes YouTube videos explaining various legal rights for women. Click here to check out his channel.
Ramesh has created several records in the past for his expertise in the Indian Constitution. One of the recent ones include the High Range Book of World Records for doing the ‘Most Voice Overs’ for 511 sections (23 chapters) in IPC Penal Codes’ in 36 days.
In 2017, the Limca Book of Records had featured him for reciting the Indian Constitution (395 numbered articles, 12 schedules and 100 amendments) in 25 minutes.
Ramesh has taken around 500 sessions in government and private schools, corporates, police departments where he talks about crimes like dowry, acid attacks, rape, eve-teasing, trafficking, stalking, domestic violence, sexual assault and cyber-related crimes. He then lists out the IPC provisions to fight these.
Furthermore, Ramesh has helped women file more than 100 First Information Reports (FIR’s).
Ramesh’s interest in women’s safety was ignited after a close female relative did not get timely justice. The incident took place around the same time when Ramesh had just started studying the IPC sections. He did not understand why she was deprived of justice despite the IPC having strong legal measures. That is when he decided to educate women and get into the judicial system.
Understanding the Behavior Patterns in Seminars
Majority of the crimes that occur against women fall under two IPC sections – 354 (A, B, C, D) that deals with assault or criminal force against woman with intent to outrage her modesty and 509 where a person can be punished for using a word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.
Ramesh lists out the most common questions that people raise during the seminars after he explains the two IPC sections:
Common Questions/Worries Raised by Women
- How will I prove that the man was staring at my private parts?
- If it took seven years to give justice to Nirbhaya, who went through a brutal rape, how will I get justice if I file an FIR for eve-teasing?
- If I file a complaint, he might throw acid on me.
- My family will be shamed publicly if I file an official complaint.
Who will protect me from the police? How can I trust the department after I have heard of cases where they protectors have been the offenders?
- My parents/husband will not support me.
Common Questions/Worries Raised by Men
- Why was a complaint filed against me? I only followed her twice.
- I never touched her physically, it was only staring.
- How is stalking an offence considering heroes in our movies are applauded for the same.
- Nude photoshoots happen in India so how is that not offensive.
- Why is abusing a woman an offence?
“The concept of consent in men and distrust & strength in women is missing. We need to educate people at a very early age. There is an urgent need to take issues like staring and stalking seriously if we want to reduce crime against women in India,” explains Ramesh.
Ramesh, who hails from an agrarian family, was first introduced properly to the constitution in 2011 when he was applying for government jobs. But soon realised that the constitution is a way of life.
“It guides us to run the society with peace, freedom and equality. To fight the already existing issues, the country leans on IPC. To know about IPC sections is equally important for the offenders so that they are informed about the repercussions and the victims to let them know their legal weapons,” he adds.
Ramesh helps both, women and men in getting justice in listing out preventive measures, the importance of Zero FIRs, giving phone counselling, connecting the needy with legal experts and dealing with the police departments on behalf of the complainant.
In May 2020, Ramesh will complete his LLB and one of the first issues he wants to address as a lawyer are movie scenes that outrage a woman’s modesty.
“Scenes that have cigarettes and alcohol in them put a disclaimer but the ones with eve-teasing or rape is shown, don’t have any warnings. That is highly disturbing and I wish to change that through petitions,’ says Ramesh.
Today, when Ramesh looks back at his journey, he feels proud of his efforts and hopes can improve the situation.
Here some Helpline Numbers That Ramesh Recommends for Women’s Safety:
- All in One Emergency Contact Number-112
- She Team- 9490616555/181/ and 040-2785 2355
- Women’s Harassment/Domestic violence – 1091
- Child Abuse Hotline – 1098
- Emergency Relief Centre on National Highways – 1033
- Women Protection Cell – 040 – 23320539
- Bhumika Helpline Toll Free Number: 18004252908 / 040-2765 5316
- Nirbhaya / 98333 12222
You can also reach out to Ramesh on WhatsApp for free counselling and legal advice: 9573395095
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)