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A message for massage: How a female physiotherapist was hounded

The faked pamphlet used to malign Dr Geeta. Photograph: (WION)

WION Web Team Delhi, India Nov 21, 2017, 12.04 PM (IST)

Dr Geeta (name changed), a reputed physiotherapist in south Delhi practising for 32 years had a harrowing experience when some local goons started harassing her. 

As a resident of a posh south Delhi colony, she performed more than one duty -- physiotherapist and security in-charge of her society. 

According to her neighbours, she played an instrumental role in managing the security of the entire block along with training and managing the security guards.

She was popularly referred to as "police mitra" or police friend by the commissioner of police in the area. 

Every morning Dr Geeta would go to her clinic to attend to her patients. During one of these visits, she spotted a pamphlet carefully tucked inside the main door to her clinic. The pamphlet read: "Physiotherapy + massage centre, attending to your pain and pleasure under the involvement of privacy and security." 

This was copied from the board outside her clinic. 

The pamphlet was sent not only to her but also to around 200 houses in the colony.

The faked pamphlet used to malign Dr Geeta. (WION)

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The original pamphlet. (WION)

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This was just the beginning as very soon she started receiving anonymous calls from men.

Cursing her fate, Dr Geeta neglected her duties as a physiotherapist and became severely depressed. Her life came to a standstill, societal pressures mounted and her family advised her to not step out of her home.

Her problems didn't seem to end there as an unknown resident allegedly even complained to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) asking for the demolition of her clinic, citing the fake pamphlet and saying Dr Geeta "was running an illegal massage centre". This led to a raid on her clinic by SDMC authorities

Speaking to WION on the issue, she said, "I was often verbally attacked by some goons in the market and they would tease me and say 'aa gayi madam humare upar bhi haath ghuma do hum kabse aapke choone ka intezaar kar rahe hai' (madam, please feel us also someday, we've been waiting for you to do so").

Dr Geeta gathered her strength and decided to teach the goons a lesson. With the help of family and neighbours, she filed an FIR at the local police station.

Dr Geeta explained how it all started. "I started working with the RWA (Resident's Welfare Association) and somehow started playing an important role in the security and day-to-day functioning of the society which did not go down well with the market owner (the culprit responsible for bringing her a bad name). This was all done to break our team at the society and me being a woman became an easy target for them. They thought It was easy to slander the reputation of a woman - and that my family would pull me back into the house. My family got terribly affected and they succeeded in doing what they wanted to do. It affected me physically and mentally, I was a wreck, but thanks to my friends and family who stood by me. I didn't cry but it hurt me a lot, I am a strong woman it takes a lot for me to cry. I decided that I needed to get up and get back at them - they can't be doing this to me. They even threatened the other members and said to one of the guys that you have two daughters be careful else we can do something to them as well. Fortunately, my male colleagues are difficult to scare than me. It was a terrible time, I have actually locked it in one compartment in my brain and I tried to forget about it. It affected me terribly. They were repulsed because we were working in the interest of the residents and not of the market and this bothered them. I am far too strong and I know how societies view women - I wanted to be the change and I will continue my duties forever more," she said. 

Dr Geeta is still awaiting justice but believes the police and judiciary will act together to help preserve her dignity when she stands up for her rights. 

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