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A 10-year-old girl’s letter to Sheila Dikshit


Respected Mrs Chief Minister,
We came to Delhi earlier this year. Mumma says we shifted because my father expanded his business. Bhaiya and Didi were happy. They are closer to their college now. Dadi does not like living here, says that things are too different.

Two weeks back, Didi came back crying from college. Bhaiya was shouting at her. I heard him say, “You are a girl! You travel in the metro and insist on wearing that! Whatever else did you expect to happen?” I asked Mumma why being a girl was a problem and she told me to go out of the room. Minutes later, Bhaiya slammed the door and left the house. Later, at night, when Papa was tucking me in, I asked him what had happened. I told him I liked wearing my green shorts. They were comfortable when the air was sticky. He smiled and said, “Grow up first, my princess. You will soon know how this city is full of dogs.” Why did Papa say that? Dogs are sweet. There is a black dog that roams in our street. I feed him roti everyday.

Last Monday, I was coming back home in the school bus. There was a traffic jam. My bus buddy was at home with a fever. I had nothing to do and my tiffin was already empty. I was looking out of the window when I noticed that a man in the car alongside the bus was smiling at me. He was trying to tell me something with his hands. I thought he was having car trouble, so I pointed at the policeman who was standing nearby and looking at us. The man in the car laughed and made the gesture again. I asked the teacher in the front seat to help the man. She looked out at him, drew the curtain across the window and made me sit next to her. Since then, I go to school in Papa’s car. Why did the policeman not help the man? Why am I not allowed to go to school in the bus, with my friends, anymore?

On Sunday, we were having dinner, when Papa switched on the news. They were talking about a girl who had gone to a chemist shop late at night. The news lady kept using a word I did not understand. When I asked father what rape was, he ignored my question. Didi has taught me how to use Google so that I can search for meanings. I Googled ‘rape’ too, but I cannot understand what it is. I could also not understand why Dadi made that noise she makes with her tongue and said, “Why would she go out at night alone?” I asked her what she meant, but she just ran her hand over my head and said that I would be a good girl when I grow up. I love my grandmother. She is very generous. She gives money to my brother when he goes out at night.

Yesterday, Sinha Aunty, our neighbour, came to the house to see Mumma. They were sitting in the drawing room having tea. I was in the kitchen, eating cookies, when I heard Aunty talk about Didi. She was telling Mumma about how Didi talks on the phone in the balcony at night. After that, Mumma got very upset. I do not understand why. Bhaiya also talks in the balcony. He says the signal reception is better there. That night, Didi did not go to the play she wanted to see. I was disappointed, as I had hoped I would get to use the music player in her absence. I asked her why she did not go. Didi was angry. She told me to leave the room. I heard her muttering, “Ask Sheila Dikshit. Ask the Delhi Police Commissioner. Ask the men of this city.”

I do not know who the Police Commissioner is. I do not know which ‘men’ Didi was referring to. But I do know you. I have seen you in the news. You look very nice, like my Dadi. So I am writing this letter to you. Why did Didi say I should ask you? Can you answer my questions?

Very confused,
A little girl.

___

(Neha is interning in NTMN’s Summer Internship Program.)


About the author

Neha Gupta

22 Comments

  • Good work.Great to see the interns coming up with absolute gems.

    PS: What can you expect from a Chief Minister, who’s name has “shit” in it?

  • Absolutely wonderfully written.. 🙂 and i seriously doubt if the CM can answer this little confused girl !!

  • Wow work !

    Must reach the CM.

    She’s got some questions to answer !

    🙂

    Author n Editor – keep it up !

  • Why not make a movie out of this letter?! So many of us believe that man has what it takes to eradicate accidents! Like your daddy said, “Grow up first, my princess.” Till then keep your curiosity behind those candies and ice-creams.

  • hey!!! does anybody hear knw Sheils Dixit’s email id… i just s wanna mail her this letter!!!

    @neha—-seriously…these are the true feelings of a child… and somethings are common for a boys too….

  • I think Mrs Sheila Dikshit will not understand these concerns. She and her children are always being protected by guards whenever they go outside. If any sort of things happen with her children, she will understand the situation better. Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, please come out of your secured house and see what all is happening in delhi…if you have taken the responsibility to be Delhi’s CM, you have to serve the people of delhi and have to fight for their comfort and security. If you cannot, we will be happy to accept your resignation. You are just getting salary (maybe bribes also) from the taxes what the citizens are paying..so please buck up and come into action.

  • Namashkar,

    mai Urvi janta House No.1273 flats g.t.b. Enclave dilshad gardern ke ki niwasi hun.

    mai aapse ye kahna chahti hu ki hamare area ka water bill 5000,10,000,15000 aur isse bhi zada ka aarha hai.hamare area me meter bhi laga diye gaye hai jinka bill itna arha raha hai ki unhe bharna hamare bas ki baat nhi hai mai ek middle family se hu. mere ghar me sab unemployed hai.mehgai ke wajah se hum apne ghar ka kharch mushkil se chalate hai.mai aapke dhiyan hamare area ke pradhan ki aur dilana chahti hu jo ki mahender sharma hai unhone hi area me meter lagwaye hai per unke khud ke ghar me meter nhi lage. unhone sab ke gharo me meter lagaya per apne kiyu nhi.kiyu?meter lagne se pehle jo bill aata tha usse humne fiil kar dete the.per ab ye condition ho gai hai ki area ke sabhi log pareshan ho gaye hai in bills ke karan..

    aapse niwedan hai ki aap hamari broblem ko kuch solve kare jisse ye bill kam hokar aaye.

    Thanking you

    Urvi

    • Namashkar,
      mai Urvi janta House No. flats g.t.b. Enclave dilshad gardern ke ki niwasi hun.
      mai aapse ye kahna chahti hu ki hamare area ka water bill 5000,10,000,15000 aur isse bhi zada ka aarha hai.hamare area me meter bhi laga diye gaye hai jinka bill itna arha raha hai ki unhe bharna hamare bas ki baat nhi hai mai ek middle family se hu. mere ghar me sab unemployed hai.mehgai ke wajah se hum apne ghar ka kharch mushkil se chalate hai.mai aapke dhiyan hamare area ke pradhan ki aur dilana chahti hu jo ki mahender sharma hai unhone hi area me meter lagwaye hai per unke khud ke ghar me meter nhi lage. unhone sab ke gharo me meter lagaya per apne kiyu nhi.kiyu?meter lagne se pehle jo bill aata tha usse humne fiil kar dete the.per ab ye condition ho gai hai ki area ke sabhi log pareshan ho gaye hai in bills ke karan..
      aapse niwedan hai ki aap hamari broblem ko kuch solve kare jisse ye bill kam hokar aaye.

      Thanking you

      Urvi

  • […] In a superficial sense, it works too. The DGP of Andhra Pradesh, V. Dinesh Reddy blamed women’s clothing for rapes. Now Karnataka’s women and child welfare minister C C Patil blame rising incidents of rape on provocative clothes. The DCP of Delhi blamed women traveling alone, unescorted, conveniently forgetting our “Women’s day celebration” of the murder of a young girl in broad daylight outside her college in the capital of the country. Chief Justice of India K. G. Balakrishnan tries to fix this problem by approving of marriage between rapist and victim – in essence opening the door to permanent victimization of the women by being pressured into a marriage to prevent shame – make it look ok, never mind if the victim is condemned to living with her oppressor. Many women get brainwashed into believing this too. Consider Shiela Dixit’s comments on women being out late. […]

  • Wonder what Sheila Dixit or the Police alone can do here. A lot depends on the mentality of the people, no? Contrasting with mumbai, theres no apparent difference in governance or policing here from Delhi. Maybe its the crowd, more power-hungry yet indifferent.
    Of course, its only from my personal experience of both cities, which may be resulting from 2 vs. in Mumbai vs. 20 yrs in Delhi 🙂

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