Hyderabad, India – A good Samaritan named Raman Garimella has been giving away free pepper spray canisters to women in Hyderabad in an effort to help women protect themselves against the recent rash of crimes against women.
Garimella doesn’t think the best answer to women’s self defense issues is participating in candlelight vigils, holding hands singing kumbaya or even waiting around for the police. Instead he believes that women should take an active role in their own self defense, by arming themselves with pepper spray.
He believes this approach will also change the way men think about women. He wants to empower women, while simultaneously making some men think twice before trying to target a defenseless woman. So, he has decided to supply free pepper spray to all who request it.
His Facebook page says, “Pervs aren’t going to stop as long as consequences are not scary enough. What does scare men is the idea of being pepper sprayed their heads off. Ladies, if you are in Hyderabad and need it, message me for a free bottle of pepper spray and a whistle.”
Recently he has been contacted by more women than he can count. “I used to give pepper spray to my sister and friends but after the Delhi incident, I decided to give away these cans to women who needed them. I think that every woman should carry one. They are not heavy and it can ward off a man for at least 20 minutes. I was surprised to see the impact the status created after I put that up on Facebook. I got many calls from girls who wanted these sprays. And some of my male friends too got pepper sprays for their sisters and relatives as New Year gifts,” he said.
He says he doesn’t want to start a campaign or a movement but simply wants to do his part to help society and hopefully offer some piece of mind and self protection for women.
“I am not here to give advice to men or women. I just want to do my bit so that if caught in such a situation, women can stand up for themselves and protect their lives rather than depending on someone else,” he said.