CHENNAI: Rarely a day goes by without reports in the media about sexual harassment against women. In the most recent case, 17 men were charged with raping an 11-year-old girl in Chennai.
At the ongoing World Junior Squash Championships in Chennai, the Switzerland team has come without their top girl player, whose parents didn’t want her to travel to India due to these concerns. Teams from Iran, US and Australia have also expressed concerns and asked players not to venture out alone. Some have decided to dress carefully.
Pascal Bhurin, coach of the Switzerland team, said their best player is missing because of what they have been hearing about India. “Ambre Allinckx is our top-ranked women’s player. She couldn’t make it because her parents did not want. They have been reading reports on the internet about how unsafe India is for women and didn’t want to take the risk of sending their daughter over. However, we have not experienced any disturbance so far.”
Other teams express similar concerns. “We heard about such issues. So I prefer that my daughter stays with the team always,” said Amir, father of Iranian player Niki. “Her safety is the primary concern. It’s also because she isn’t familiar with the country or the language.”
Even the Australian team is taking precautions. “We always have somebody with us. When I travel to other countries like New Zealand, I go out and feel alright. Out here, we always have a guy with us,” said Australian player Alex Haydon.