The reporting of crimes against women rose discernibly in the year after the Delhi gang-rape in December 2012, as indicated by data released at the end of June by the National Crime Records Bureau.
According to the Bureau’s reports on crime in India, 27.2% of all rape cases tried in court in 2006 ended with convictions. In 2013, it was 27.1%.
In 2012, the NCRB changed its base of calculating rates of reported rape. It now calculates the rate of reported rapes per 1 lakh women and not 1 lakh of the entire population. This is why the rate of rape seems to have almost tripled from 2011 to 2013.
Higher reporting of rape is likely to indicate that the social stigma against sexual violence might be decreasing, and that affected citizens are more confident about getting justice from the legal system.
But it is also important to look beyond this data. Rape statistics rarely reflect reality. Rape is among the most under-reported crimes in the world, without even considering the factors peculiar to India that influence people from reporting sexual crimes.
Indian law does not recognise sexual violence against people who are not female or children, nor does it acknowledge the existence of marital rape.
There is immense social pressure against reporting rape, whether within a victim’s social or familial circle as well or at police stations, where officers regularly attempt to turn away survivors.
In 2013, The Hindureported that the NCRB was undercounting crimes as a whole by only recording the principal offence of a first information report. Cases that involved rapes ending in death, for instance, were being recorded only as murders, not rapes.
Given all these factors, India’s rate of reported rape is expectedly far lower than that reported in other countries.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime collected official data from 81 countries in 2010. The highest rates of reported rape in Europe and Africa were in Sweden and Botswana respectively.
These comparisons are not entirely representative. The UNODC itself acknowledges this, saying that caution must be exercised while comparing because of different legal definitions and methods of recording.
[This article has been updated to note that the NCRB changed its base of calculating rapes from per lakh population before 2011 to per lakh women from 2012 onwards. The percentage conviction for rapes in 2013 is 27.1, not 36.5.]
What’s the difference between ‘a’ washing machine and a ‘great’ washing machine?
The right machine can save water, power consumption, time, energy and your clothes from damage.
In 2010, Han Rosling, a Swedish statistician, convinced a room full of people that the washing machine was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution. In the TED talk delivered by him, he illuminates how the washing machine freed women from doing hours of labour intensive laundry, giving them the time to read books and eventually join the labour force. Rosling’s argument rings true even today as it is difficult to deny the significance of the washing machine in our everyday lives.
For many households, buying a washing machine is a sizable investment. Oddly, buyers underestimate the importance of the decision-making process while buying one and don’t research the purchase as much as they would for a television or refrigerator. Most buyers limit their buying criteria to type, size and price of the washing machine.
Visible technological advancements can be seen all around us, making it fair to expect a lot more from household appliances, especially washing machines. Here are a few features to expect and look out for before investing in a washing machine:
Cover your basics
Do you wash your towels every day? How frequently do you do your laundry? Are you okay with a bit of manual intervention during the wash cycle? These questions will help filter the basic type of washing machine you need. The semi-automatics require manual intervention to move clothes from the washing tub to the drying tub and are priced lower than a fully-automatic. A fully-automatic comes in two types: front load and top load. Front loading machines use less water by rotating the inner drum and using gravity to move the clothes through water.
The size or the capacity of the machine is directly proportional to the consumption of electricity. The right machine capacity depends on the daily requirement of the household. For instance, for couples or individuals, a 6kg capacity would be adequate whereas a family of four might need an 8 kg or bigger capacity for their laundry needs. This is an important factor to consider since the wrong decision can consume an unnecessary amount of electricity.
Machine intelligence that helps save time
In situations when time works against you and your laundry, features of a well-designed washing machine can come to rescue. There are programmes for urgent laundry needs that provide clean laundry in a super quick 15 to 30 minutes’ cycle; a time delay feature that can assist you to start the laundry at a desired time etc. Many of these features dispel the notion that longer wash cycles mean cleaner clothes. In fact, some washing machines come with pre-activated wash cycles that offer shortest wash cycles across all programmes without compromising on cleanliness.
The green quotient
Despite the conveniences washing machines offer, many of them also consume a substantial amount of electricity and water. By paying close attention to performance features, it’s possible to find washing machines that use less water and energy. For example, there are machines which can adjust the levels of water used based on the size of the load. The reduced water usage, in turn, helps reduce the usage of electricity. Further, machines that promise a silent, no-vibration wash don’t just reduce noise – they are also more efficient as they are designed to work with less friction, thus reducing the energy consumed.
Customisable washing modes
Crushed dresses, out-of-shape shirts and shrunken sweaters are stuff of laundry nightmares. Most of us would rather take out the time to hand wash our expensive items of clothing rather than trusting the washing machine. To get the dirt out of clothes, washing machines use speed to first agitate the clothes and spin the water out of them, a process that takes a toll on the fabric. Fortunately, advanced machines come equipped with washing modes that control speed and water temperature depending on the fabric. While jeans and towels can endure a high-speed tumble and spin action, delicate fabrics like silk need a gentler wash at low speeds. Some machines also have a monsoon mode. This is an India specific mode that gives clothes a hot rinse and spin to reduce drying time during monsoons. A super clean mode will use hot water to clean the clothes deeply.
Washing machines have come a long way, from a wooden drum powered by motor to high-tech machines that come equipped with automatic washing modes. Bosch washing machines include all the above-mentioned features and provide damage free laundry in an energy efficient way. With 32 different washing modes, Bosch washing machines can create custom wash cycles for different types of laundry, be it lightly soiled linens, or stained woollens. The ActiveWater feature in Bosch washing machines senses the laundry load and optimises the usage of water and electricity. Its EcoSilentDrive motor draws energy from a permanent magnet, thereby saving energy and giving a silent wash. The fear of expensive clothes being wringed to shapelessness in a washing machine is a common one. The video below explains how Bosch’s unique VarioDrumTM technology achieves damage free laundry.
To start your search for the perfect washing machine, see here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Bosch and not by the Scroll editorial team.