It was National Girl Child Day. But there was a sense of déjà vu as the onus of girls’ safety was yet again shifted to them, with Vimala Gowda, Deputy Chairperson of the Legislative Council, advising them to wear clothes commensurate with “our culture”.
Participating in the celebrations organised by the Karnataka State Social Welfare Board here on Thursday, she said: “Instil courage in the girl child while bringing her up. Let her wear fancy clothes, as long as it doesn’t look vulgar to others and [that which] is part of our culture,” she said.
Advocating that girls be taught self-defence, she said: “The law will come to your rescue after everything is over. Learn karate and judo.”
Ms. Gowda also spoke of how she had brought her housekeeper’s alcoholic and abusive husband back to the mainstream.
The Deputy Chairperson expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the various schemes meant for girl children. “The State government claims that over 14 lakh Bhagyalakshmi Scheme bonds have been given away. But whether they have reached the actual beneficiaries needs to be examined. There are so many middlemen involved,” Ms. Gowda said.
She also questioned the logic in considering the age of the accused in the Delhi gang-rape case while deciding his punishment (as he is a juvenile) despite the nature of the crime he had committed.
Vinoda Nataraj, chairperson of the welfare board, and M. Krishnappa, MLA, were present.