Grope me at your peril!

A team of three Indian engineering students, including 20 year-old Monisha Mohan, has invented an anti-rape, bra-like device that responds to aggressive pinching and pulling at a woman� breasts.

The anti-rape bra

The anti-rape bra

The device was inspired by the brutal mass rape and subsequent death last December of a 23 year-old law student in Delhi that sent shock-waves throughout the world.

Mohan calls the device � retaliation against menaces in society.
Mohan and her fellow-students, Rimpy Tripathy and Niladri Basu, from the Indian state of Chennai set out to invent electrified ‘anti-rape lingerie’ to protect women from sexual assault.  Apart from giving would-be rapist a severe shock, the bra carries GPS and GSM devices which send an alert to the victim’s parents and the police in the event of an attack.

The anti-rape bra inventors

The anti-rape bra inventors

Called Society Harnessing Equipment (SHE) it comes equipped with a shock circuit board near the bra. The lingerie can send more than 82 high voltage electric shocks to the assailant – enough to cause severe burn marks.

Rape is a common occurrence in many parts of the world,” said Mohan. “We thought it would not come to an end until some innovative idea for solving this problem comes out. Discussions on rape cases alone are no solution. We need to do something practical to stop rapes. The Delhi rape incident motivated us to find ways.”

The SHE device is an undergarment which is set up inside the innerwear of a woman in a way that when pressure is applied to it during an assault, a strong electric shock is generated.

Simultaneously, the device sends out two messages – one to the police station and other to a family member.

At the moment, the anti-rape bra is not available in the shops as the team is busy making it more compact and more effective. But if a company does start manufacturing it, Mohan said the team would like to make the device as cheap as possible.

We would want it to reach every section of society and not be only affordable to the affluent. Our objective is to protect women and not to earn profit.


Female Tourists Shun India

Female tourists are giving India a wide berth following the savage rape by a Delhi gang of a 23 year-old girl, who later died.

Exotic India - plenty to see, but dangers lurk

Exotic India – plenty to see, but dangers lurk

According to a survey conducted by India’s Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, female tourist numbers are down by more than 30 pert cent.

And the Delhi rape case was not an isolated incident. A Swiss couple, cycling across India,  were attacked recently in Madhya Pradesh state. The woman was gang-raped as her husband was held at gunpoint.

Almost immediately afterwards, a British woman in Agra, home of the famed Taj Mahal, jumped from a second-floor hotel room when she feared the manager was attempting to break in.

And this week, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that undercover police patrols are riding Calcutta underground railway trains in an attempt to make it safer for women.

Every day a team of 20 officers – ten men and ten 10 women – ride the metro system to make sure that men keep their hands to themselves.

The Chamber said it surveyed 1,200 tour operators across India. Said secretary-general, D S Rawat: �he inflows of women foreign tourists to the country have gone down by 35 per cent and the overall tourism has fallen by 25 per cent.”

Incredible India - but not safe for female tourists

Incredible India – but not safe for female tourists

In particular, women travelers from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia are cancelling in large numbers.

“Obviously the rape cases have raised concerns about the safety of female travelers to India. Tourists appear to be switching to other Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam,” he added.

Tourism in India is a developing industry. Last year it attracted only 6.6 million overseas visits – less than tiny Hong Kong. One in eight of the tourists to India is British.

The British government warns that women travelers often receive unwanted attention in the form of verbal and physical harassment by individuals or groups of men. British women have been the victims of sexual assaults in Goa, Delhi, Bangalore and Rajasthan.

It adds �omen travelers should exercise caution when traveling in India even if they are traveling in a group�

These highly publicized attacks on women present a major obstacle to India� tourism ministry which aims to increase foreign tourist arrivals by 12 per cent a year and double its foreign-exchange earnings by 2016.

India Cracks Down on Eunuchs

Indian Eunuchs at a festival in New Delhi

Indian Eunuchs at a festival in New Delhi

In this day and age, it’s hard to imagine that eunuchs still exist. But they do. It’s estimated there are some 700,000 in India alone.

They usually make a living begging and entertaining guests at family gatherings.

“Traditionally, eunuchs in  India are believed to be lucky and graced by the gods because they are neither male nor female. So when they dance and sing at a wedding or a birth, many blessings may indeed come the family’s away,” said retired Indian army officer Colonel Mohan Chandra Papnai.

“But nowadays there are many gangs of eunuchs, who are really nothing more than scary thugs. They turn up on festive occasions, they intimidate people, make exorbitant demands for money and even break into people’s homes to demand payment,” added Col. Papnai, who has launched a helpline in Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh state capital, where extortion by eunuchs is rampant.

The helpline is managed by a group of senior citizens and retired soldiers, who are offering a round- the-clock service to help anyone facing harassment from eunuchs.

Col. Papnai stressed that until now distressed  citizens could not summon help quickly, and by the time reinforcements arrived, the eunuchs had fled.

Indian Eunuchs ready to entertain guests at a festival

Indian Eunuchs ready to entertain guests at a festival

“But now, thanks to our helpline, manned by effective clusters of volunteers located throughout the city, we will deal once and for all with this damn eunuch menace.”

We have already started generating awareness among people by personal interaction and distributing pamphlets. Today, we are getting more than 15 cases a day. It is a good beginning”, he added.

Lucknow is not alone in having problems with Eunuchs.

The director general of the railway police recently issued a circular to officials asking them to curb the illegal practices of eunuchs.

Said one railway official “Eunuchs usually operate in groups of two or three. They board trains and demand money from passengers. Those who confront them have to face their wrath. Eunuchs even strip themselves in public to embarrass the passengers. Thus people usually give money to avoid such problems,” said a railway official.

He added that eunuchs also often steal bags of passengers.

Hoomen Rajkhowa, a student who regularly uses trains, said eunuchs mostly target the young male passengers as they can be easily enticed and humiliated.

“If someone refuses to budge, he is treated with sexually abusive words and sometimes physical intimidation like touching the genitalia of the protagonist,” he added.

But eunuch groups deny they are responsible. Speaking on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh Eunuch’s Association, a spokesman said, “some people are out to defame our community by engaging in forcible collection.

“True eunuchs are happy to receive whatever they are given without making any demands. These extortions are committed by imposters – lumpen elements who are merely pretending to be eunuchs.”

But one eunuch admitted, on condition of anonymity, that they do indeed harass people to make a living.

“This is the only feasible way for the third sex to sustain livelihood. The only other means of livelihood available to us is prostitution for males who have a fancy for transsexuals,” she said.

Full of Cold Air?

By Robert Harland
Tata's proposed Air Car

Tata's proposed Air Car

In 2008, Tata Motors, India’s largest car manufacturer, announced it had joined forces with French company, Motor Development International (MDI), to produce the world’s first car to run on nothing but compressed air.

Wow! This would be the greenest of green cars. Tata said its Air Car could achieve speeds of almost 70mph (112kph) and would have a range of 125 miles (217km) between fill-ups. And the price would be a very reasonable US$13,000 (Php566,000).

Tata said this in 2008. So where’s the car chaps? Dates for the Air Car’s much-publicized release in both Indian and American markets have come and gone, but still no car.

In 2009 the company admitted it had run into some serious snags as the excessively low engine temperature caused by the compressed air was a major problem. These issues seem to be significant though Tata has refused to say if it’s calling off the project.

The Air Car -- will it see the light of day?

The Air Car -- will it see the light of day?

If the project is cancelled it would be a great blow. Just imagine filling up now and again with Php100 worth of air rather than thousands of pesos for gas!

Although the Air Car may never make it to the market, two Indian mechanical engineering professors are working on a more  modest compressed air engine project.

Professors Bharat Raj Singh and Onkar Singh from the SMS Institute for Technology in Lucknow are working on a scheme to refit India’s scooters with an air-compression motor.

Unlike the Air Car, the scooter motor will run on low pressure compressed air — about the same as needed to fill a tire at the gas station. The Tata vehicle would require stations to install high-tech air pumps, a difficult investment for station owners in a developing country like India.

The scooter engine is still very much in the development stage. The professors say a number of technical challenges remain. Range is an issue — at the moment it’s a mere 18 miles (28km).

Although a vehicle running on only compressed air might seem like an environment’s dream, they would still have a carbon footprint.  India relies heavily on dirty coal-fired power plants so the use of thousands of compressed air vehicles would actually increase the total emissions sent into the atmosphere because of the huge amount of electricity needed to run the compressors.