After pleading with the government to provide better safety measures for women, the Defence company in India offers the women a chance to take their safety into their own hands. The Ordnance Factory Organization, which functions under the Ministry of Defence, recently launched a revolver, ‘Nirbheek’ –India’s first gun for women.  The twist however, is that out of the 450 placed orders only 28 have been made by women, according to Telegraph.

 

The gun weighs 525 grams, which is lighter than a normal revolver that weights around 700 grams and is being marketed for women exclusively, even though men can carry it as well. The gun may be easier for women to use but is it really the answer to the increasing number of sexual assaults? Certainly not, and here’s why:

 

1. One of the biggest hurdles for the targeted customers- women, is the price of the gun. Costing INR 1,22,360 lakhs, Nirbheek is not affordable for the ordinary middle-class woman. The women who can afford it, are mainly from the upper-middle class bracket, who usually have their private means of transport and hence are at a less risk of getting attacked.

 

2. Obtaining the license for carrying and using the gun is another road-block women would face. Even though officially it seems relatively easy to obtain the license, if you know anybody who has one, you know they only got it because they ‘know someone.’ It’s a lengthy process and your application has to go to 4 different offices before reaching the District Magistrate, who finally (but not easily), grants you one.

 

Guns forbidden in Delhi Metro Picture By: Gadling
Guns forbidden in Delhi Metro
Picture By: Gadling

 

3. Assuming an ordinary woman is lucky enough to get the license, when will she feel the need to use it? Mainly when she is out at public places or travelling alone and these places do not permit you to carry weapons in your bag. So you can’t carry your gun when you are travelling by the metro or going to the mall, if it just has to be kept in the closet; it completely defeats the purpose.

 

4. This is probably the most important point. Is this really a problem that can be solved by weapons?  Activist, Rooprekha Verma says, “Rape is essentially not a law and order problem and a revolver in a woman’s purse is not going to prevent it,” adding, “What is needed is a reformed mindset, stricter laws and a speedier justice delivery mechanism,” reported HT.

 

 

The U.S has, anyway, given us many examples of how dangerous carrying weapons can be. Undoubtedly, we need to take strong actions and big steps to curb and prevent violence against women, but this gun may not be the answer.

 

[Featured Picture Courtesy: Indians For Guns]