ATM-style machine lets Indian women report abuse without fear

Amrit Dhillon – Star – Thursday, 28 August 2014 (originally published 25 Aug)

Manju Mitra uses the ICLIK machine
Manju Mitra uses the ICLIK machine to file a police complaint in New Delhi. Mitra was fearful after her husband beat her, demanded a bigger dowry and then threatened to kill her if she went to police. Image: AMRIT DHILLON

NEW DELHI—Most Indian women think very carefully before walking into a police station to lodge a complaint. The all-male officers, the macho atmosphere, and the corresponding fear of sexual harassment deter them.

If they go at all, they go escorted by a male relative or their husband. In the case of Manju Mitra, 38, who lives in Bhubaneswar in east India, this was not an option, as it was her husband she wanted to report — for beating her and demanding more dowry: a lump sum of 200,000 rupees (CAD $3,600), to be precise.

“A friend had told me about this new ATM-like machine for police complaints, so I went there on Saturday. I typed out my complaint. In 10 minutes, I was out. It was so easy, I wish more women knew about it,” she said . . .

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