Resisting the Assault

2015-0331 Resisting the Assault
Photo: Facebook


Excerpt by Harriet Alexander | The Sydney Morning Herald

An Indian student has been hailed as a heroine for standing up to a man molesting her at a train station in the middle of the day, and dragging him by the hair to the police – while dozens of people did nothing to help.

Pradnya Mandhare, 20, was travelling home after a day of classes at Sathaye College, in the Mumbai suburb of Vile Parle, when she was approached by an obviously drunken man.

“This visibly drunk person came to me and touched me inappropriately,” she said. “When I tried to avoid him, he grabbed me. I was shocked for a couple of seconds, but then I started hitting him with my bag.

“He was trying to hit me, but I could overpower him because he was stinking of alcohol and I could make out that he was drunk.”

Kandivli station was crowded with people, but Miss Mandhare’s fellow travellers did not move to help her.

“No one came forward to help,” said the media student. “People stopped to stare, but no one bothered to even ask what was going on.”

“Since the man was filthy, I found it difficult to even touch him. I caught him by his hair and dragged him to the government railway police.”

She said that hauling him to the police was difficult, but still no one came to her aid.

“Dragging him by the hair and walking was tough, because he was trying to escape and I was afraid he would attack me.

“He kept telling me not to drag him along and that he would come with me on his own, but I did not let go. I finally managed to hand him over to the police.”

She told a local newspaper that most women are scared of approaching the police, because filing a complaint is a lengthy process and the police, she said, can be “uncooperative”.

Miss Mandhare said that other women should not be afraid to come forward and denounce such attacks.


Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.

Thanks to Pradnya Mandhare for sharing her story; Harriet Alexander for writing an article about the story; The Sydney Morning Herald for committing its resources to publishing the article and helping me find the article; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.



  1. Scott, thank you for highlighting her victory.

    Violence against women — including rape, murder and sexual harassment is a global issue.

    Approximately 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical violence in their life time. In countries rich and poor at war and at peace. According to The Beijing Conference 1995 review update.

    United Nations, world health conference stated 38% of women are murdered by their partners.

    British Actor and Film creator Leslie Udwin producer of “India’s Daughter” documentary illuminated rapist statement ” she should just be silent and allow the rape…” The producer shared “It was not the horrific rape that made me come to India. The extraordinary courageous and unprecedented protests that followed made me think: Oh my God they are fighting for my rights in India.’ I was so grateful. I have myself been raped. It is not surprising — one in five women globally have been raped,so I am one of the 20%.

    The disease is not the offenders themselves, they are the symptoms. The disease is the mindset shared to some degree by all nations which denie respect, autonomy,and safety to women.

    In a New York Times article Dr Hudson said …a husband can just as easily beat his wife if she is a high school drop out or a college graduate. An entire territory can be claimed if fighters rape the local women–or take them as sex slaves.” I think violence against women is so darn useful, she said, “that’s why it’ll be so hard to eradicate.”

    Phumzile Miambo-Ngcuke the executive director of the United Nations agency for gender equality and women’s empowerment said “I am disappointed… more than asking more laws to be passed, I’m asking for implementation.”

    I am encouraged to know world summits occur like the “Global Summit” To End Sexual Violence in Conflict — the largest gathering brought together on the subject. 1700 delegates, 123 country delegations working on practical steps to tackle impunity for the use of rape as a weapon of war

    The Youtube video starring actor Kalki Koechlin who has shared her own sexual abuse sarcastically informs women “It’s your fault” which could be funnier if it where still not still true in too many places.

    1. Esther, the problem you mentioned is a world-wide issue that needs to be abolished immediately. I understand the video addresses a serious subject in a light-hearted way, but I am not sure everyone who views the video will understand or appreciate the delivery. Finally, the video seems to suggest that certain religious, cultural, or geographical issues are responsible for the problems. I disagree with that premise. This is a world-wide problem suggesting a religion, culture, or political climate is at fault, is not a valid argument. The problem exists everywhere. Although there may be certain religions, cultures, and locations that are more accepting or tolerant of the highly offensive actions than others, it is not fair or appropriate to suggest a given religion, culture, or area is responsible.

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