Dehli Police Response to Rape Anger: Deploy the Mimes!

Pantomime show intended to try to teach residents about drugs and sexual assault


How well Delhi's police protect women, particularly from sexual attacks, has become an increasingly politicized issue after the Dec. 16 gang rape of a medical student on a moving bus. Protesters outraged over the crime, and the rise in reported rape cases in the city, have been calling for Delhi's police commissioner, Neeraj Kumar, to step down.

In 2005, the Delhi police created the Parivartan ("Change") program to increase awareness about women's safety in the nation's capital in response to several sexual attacks. India Ink recently took a look at the Parivartan program to learn more about how Delhi's police are trying to fight the problem of violence against women.

From the Ashok Vihar police station in West Delhi, Usha Sanghwan, an inspector, has run Parivartan for the past year. Her job includes sending female constables door to door in slum areas, talking about sexual violence with elders in the community and gathering information on reports of domestic and sexual violence from police-appointed "guardians," members of the community with clean records who are considered responsible.