Jan. 29 - A new Indian government plan to give women handguns for self-defense backfires among activists and female groups. Nathan Frandino reports.
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In India, a new public safety plan for women is creating deep divisions.
Handguns for women.
That's the plan that has activists and female groups up in arms.
Abdul Hamid, general manager of the Field Gun Factory in Kanpur City, says the light-weight pistol was made in honor of a gang rape victim.
(SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) GENERAL MANAGER, FIELD GUN FACTORY IN KANPUR, ABDUL HAMID, SAYING:
"In 2012, the unfortunate incident that happened in Delhi, the victim was called 'Nirbhaya,' which means fearless. In her memory and taking inspiration from her, people of our factory here suggested names, and we chose 'Nirbheek,' which also means fearless. When the women of India walk on the streets, they will walk without any fear and they will not be scared of anyone."
At the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network, founder Bina Laxmi Nepram says the gun won't solve any problem, citing its excessive costs at nearly $2,000 U.S. dollars.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) FOUNDER OF MANIPUR WOMEN GUN SURVIVORS NETWORK, BINA LAXMI NEPRAM, SAYING:
"It's an insult. It's an insult to the poor of India, it's an insult to the poor women of India, saying, oh my God, that only the rich can afford to have this gun. In fact the December 2012 gang rape victim, Nirbhaya herself, could not have afforded this gun."
Indian girls and women face a plethora of threats.
These include sexual and domestic violence, acid attacks, early marriage and human trafficking.
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