How will you describe this, as a height of imagination or limit of stupidity? To make the female foreign tourists feel safe in India, railway coolies/porters, taxi drivers and tour guides will soon display a badge on their chests declaring. “I respect women”. This brilliant and visionary idea has been forwarded by the Indian Tourism Ministry. Badges will be printed in Hindi plus 10 international languages including English, French, Arabic, German, Italian, and Japanese.

During last few decades, India has seen an unprecedented upsurge in offense against local and foreign women; rape, molestation and acid throwing is widely reported. Everyone who holds a responsible position in the government seems to be upset, but the tourism ministry is the most concerned and they should have come up with some concrete plans to keep foreigners safe, than only displaying badges. This week action reflects badly on the government that is a nuclear power and claims to stand among the developed countries, a country that attracts millions of tourists cannot come up with one single solid plan to protect female tourists from the atrocious acts that take place in India. This is a serious issue for legislators, law-enforcers, religious leaders, educationalists, sociologists and civil society to look for real reasons for such heinous crimes against women.

With vocal media, increased number of rape cases is being talked about; though still the one reported in police are only four out of ten. It's not only the harsh sentences which may play some role in stemming these crimes but most important are the changes in legislation to make it far more easy and fast to implicate and sentence the rapists. Onus of producing proof of rape shall not be trusted upon the victims; instead DNA and other latest technical gadgets shall be used to track the culprits.

MASOOD KHAN,

Saudi Arab, July 23.