Thursday, February 08, 2007

Update on my life - against overcharging, against harassment

its not been an easy week. i was trying to give more time to my second play when this happened:

5th feb evening, i went to buy my regular 1/2 litre milk pouch from the neighbourhood's Nandini milk booth. it was out of stock. so i asked for two packets of goodlife. and a set curd. the woman at the booth said she would charge me 14 rupees each. the MRP for goodlife is 12 rupees and set curd's 13 rupees. she mentioned the cauvery verdict problem as a reason. while i was telling her that she couldn't overcharge because hers was an authorized retailer and that i could go and complain about it, her husband (the owner) came and snatched away the milk packets from me. then immediately he started abusing me in kannada, pointed to his private parts and physically intimidated me. when i told him to behave, he verbally assaulted me and a crowd gathered. strengthened by their attention, he hammered more abuse. i decided that it was no use confronting him and went home, resolving to file a complaint with the police, the consumer court and KMF. when amit came home, i told him about the incident. he went to speak to the milkman. he and his assistant physically assaulted him and threatened him that they would rape me and knife him to death....he boasted that he knew politicians all around and he would see us...

i have filed an FIR against this man and his assistant. met the Managing Director of Karnataka Milk Federation yesterday and he has already started an inquiry. went to the Consumer Court yesterday and I am filing a complaint today. have called up the Alternative Law Forum too...

street harassment of women in bangalore has reached a menacing level. it is impossible to travel alone at night, we get overcharged everywhere by autowallas, milkmen, shopkeepers...and we are told that we have no right to live in this city because we are outsiders...

amit has full updates of this case here on his blog. please do go read it whenever you have the time.

3 Comments:

Blogger Manjima said...

Good going, gal! Have forwarded this mail to friends in Bangalore. Hope somebody has the balls to stand by. This happens frequently and in all sorts of places. On our recent trip to Goa, too, we faced this kind of overcharging, and we refused to pay beyond the MRP. There the guys kept muttering, but didn't insist, perhaps because the value the importance of tourists. This happens even at India Gate, and you know what? The average policeman there supports the vendors, studiously staying away from any hint of a fracas in the area. This kind of corruption is what keeps unlawful practices thriving in cities. The funny thing is, people seem embarrassed to argue against paying more than they're supposed to. Lest others think they're cheap? I don't know what the problem is. I do know that Cal is as yet free of this kind of nonsense, though with mall culture rampant everywhere and overspending becoming something of a fad, I don't know how long that will continue to be.
The links on Amit's blog are really helpful. Will forward them to other people I know.
Anything else I can do? Why don't you write to the papers? Give them a break from all the shit they cover and let them handle a decent piece of news instead. Have some friends in TV. Should I tell them about this?

12:30 PM  
Blogger Maia said...

Jeezus Swar, this is scary. One hears about these things but when it happens to someone you know...
I think what you're doing is absolutely the right way to go but please be careful. Don't assume the guy's just blustering. Keep yourself protected.

10:12 AM  
Blogger swar said...

babes, thanks much for the support. amit and i are pursuing this case, wherever it may take us - good or bad. the hearing is on 23rd feb. lets see...

12:51 PM  

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