Kelly, a South Korean vlogger, was on a trip to India and was recording her travels through her lens. Pune, a city known for its vibrant streets and rich food, was the backdrop of her recent video titled ‘Walking on the street in India alone as a solo woman traveller’ when she was suddenly crowded by a group of men, one of whom placed his arm around her, making Kelly uncomfortable. Being recorded on camera, this clip soon went viral on social media, where netizens demanded legal action against the man.
The unwanted situation
Kelly, in an urge to explore India, went through Pune’s bustling streets and reached the Pimpri-Chinchwad market. She is seen greeting the people with a Namaste and is trying to strike a chord with the local crowd. However, amidst the camaraderie, an untoward incident is captured on her vlog.
At a shop, several men encircle her and enter the frame for a photo, yet one individual crosses the personal boundary by abruptly placing his arm around her neck. Visibly uncomfortable, Kelly swiftly distanced herself from the man and is heard saying ‘I need to run.’
Not only the harassment from this man but Kelly also states that she has been identified as ‘Chinese’ by many Indians and was called the same many times during her travels.
Kelly begins the video by stating how you sometimes meet a few bad people but generalising all the people in the same category would not be fair. Rightly so, her statement is an example of her deep understanding and earnest approach to look at the positives, despite some unwanted incidents.
Reactions From Netizens
Soon a clip from the video went viral on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram and it garnered widespread attention. Netizens, expressing their outrage over the incident, flooded the comments section with messages of support and solidarity.
Shameful action— bikash (@itsmebikash89) December 20, 2023
Many empathised with Kelly’s experience, offering apologies on behalf of the country and reiterating the need to prioritise safety in solo travel. They urged the authorities to take strict legal actions against the men in the video.
As soon as the video came to the notice of Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Station, they took it upon themselves to redeem India and arrested the man in question. The promptness of the Police in arresting this man showcases their will to safeguard the country for tourists and women.
Kelly’s incident is not one single incident in isolation. Many tourists have faced similar situations in the past. However, thanks to the YouTube video, this incident was brought to light and was circulated on social media widely which fostered swift action. Many women face such harassment in silence but hopefully Indian Police’s vigilance will help make women feel safer in the long run.