Who is Meena Kumari: A member of the Uttar Pradesh State’s Women’s Commission is facing much criticism for saying that girls should not be given mobile phones. Her reason? According to Kumari, phones lead to rape. She also appealed to parents to keep the devices away from their daughters. “Girls talk on phones and later run away with boys…,” said Meena Kumari during a public hearing of women-related complaints in Aligarh on Wednesday.
UP महिला आयोग अध्यक्ष का विवादित बयान, 'फोन पर लंबी बात कर लड़कों के साथ भाग जाती हैं लड़कियां, उन्हें ना दें मोबाइल'#MeenaKumari #UPStateWomenCommission#UPSWC pic.twitter.com/CDccF2kqBx
— NBT Uttar Pradesh (@UPNBT) June 10, 2021
During the conversation, when asked about an alleged increase in rape cases in the state, Kumari also said that the careless attitude of parents, especially mothers, is leading to crimes against women. Meanwhile, the UP Women’s Commission has said that her statement was uncalled for, a report in Times of India stated.
In her statement to ANI, Kumari said, “What I actually said was that parents should check whether their children are using mobile phones for studies or other purposes.”
Who is Meena Kumari?
Kumari is a leader and member of the Uttar Pradesh State Women’s Commission. She was elected twice as a Zila panchayat member from Aligarh. Later trying to clarify her remarks, she claimed that girls from villages don’t know “how to use phones in the right way.” She told reporters that she meant that minors and girls from villages use phones to strike friendships with boys and then run away. She claimed that smartphones are also being used to watch inappropriate content.
Explaining the rationale behind her comments, Kumari said that she listens to grievances of more than twenty women on average daily. She said that she encountered at least five to seven cases that are related to friendships between boys and girls over cellphones and their after-effects. She went on to say that in many cases, girls were lured to a certain place and then sexually assaulted. Her comment was in response to a question about a sharp rise in alleged rape cases in the state. Read why this Gujarat village banned girls from using mobile phones here.
BIZARRE comment by Meena Kumari, a member of the UP Women Commission.
“Girls should not be given mobile phones. They talk to boys and later elope with them.”@NCWIndia @sharmarekha ji, do you approve of this statement? pic.twitter.com/HrSICrGL0l
— Prashant Kumar (@scribe_prashant) June 10, 2021
Meanwhile, Vice President of the Commission, Anju Chaudhary, called Kumari’s statement wrong, adding that depriving girls of mobile phones is not a solution to sexual violence against them.