It's hard, changing men's perception of women as intruders in the public space, a key part of every women's safety program. But it's not impossible. The song of those Delhi rappers is on YouTube now. Watch the women link arms in the street, gazing into the camera, looking fierce.
Listen to us, loud and clear. We are brave, we do not fear.
The video's viewership isn't huge, but a lot of the admiring comments are from men. The first time I watched it, I recalled the voices of those Khadar girls -- women, really -- the first time they rapped for us. We were out of our minds with delight. We cheered, we whistled. We stamped our feet. "It's not like I am always brave," said one of the rappers, a woman named Ritu. "Sometimes I am scared too. But I am more angry and outraged."
Ritu told us this story too: A few of them recently had been standing together on a Metro train. They caught a man with his cell phone, recording video of them from behind. They weren't singing or rapping or trying to get attention, they were just standing on a train car, being female. Other passengers looked away, pretending not to see what was right in front of them, so the Khadar girls confronted him. They snatched the man's phone. They took their sandals off and hit him. Before the Khadar women could report him to police, the man jumped off at the next Metro stop and ran away. This is not ideal, Ritu agrees, but concerns about personal safety often override feelings of right and wrong. "What would you do when you know no one cares about what happens to you? You do what feels right at the moment."