After Union minister Smriti Irani discovered a CCTV camera pointing to the ladies trial room in a fashioble garments outlet in Goa recently, the police in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and other states are now conducting raids in designer garments stores and shopping malls. Warnings are being issued of strict action against the use of hidden cameras and video recorders in changing or trial rooms in malls, showrooms and shops. This increased vigilance is welcome to protect the dignity of women from the eyes of peeeping toms in public places, educatiol institutions, workplaces and business areas. There is a crying need to educate women about the extent voyeurs can go to install spy cameras, record their images secretly and upload these online, or to blackmail them later on. There have been instances as in a Maharashtra college, where photos of female students were taken secretly in ladies washing rooms with spy cameras attached to shower tops. Mischievous elements accessed and posted on YouTube video images of women in Delhi metro trains, doubtless with the connivance of office staff. Smartphones are being increasingly used in schools, colleges and offices to surreptitiously photograph girls and women, and humiliate them later by circulating the images in social media. There have been cases of distressed women committing suicide, uble to bear the shame of their images stored and accessed again and again in the cyber world. The laws on such cyber crimes need to be implemented strictly, with the police technologically savvy enough to detect and investigate offences effectively. After all, it does not take long for voyeurism to degenerate into stalking, teasing, harassment and filly sexual offences against female ‘targets’ by sick minds. Overall, an environment of respecting the dignity of women has to be built up inside and outside the home.
Beware of Voyeurs