Published On: Fri, Dec 1st, 2017

Travelling in India is not an easy task for women-Riya Dixit

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RIYA DIXITThe world is talking about the empowerment of women. Everyone is speaking about considering men and women equal and women being independent. But can we think of accomplishing any of these without the safety of women? The issue of safety of women in India has been in the news quite lately. India has been ranked 4th as the world’s most dangerous country for women. According to latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau, crimes against women have more than doubled over the past ten years. From murders to rapes, a crime against women is becoming headlines and when it comes to traveling, in the big city life, everyone is struggling. Travelling is the most important part but, the problems faced by this cannot be ignored. We all must be having our bad experiences while traveling and when it comes to women is it considered as one of the most difficult tasks for them. Sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public places are an everyday occurrence for women and girls. If all of these happen in the daytime, in front of everyone, when the places are so crowded, can we think of the nights? The conditions at night are even worse. Can we imagine a female going out somewhere late at night, traveling by foot or a bus, train, auto or even by her own vehicle? It is a nightmare for most of the females. We have so many incidents that have happened earlier and have disturbed the minds of the public.

Do you remember the Damini Case? 2012, Delhi gang rape. This particular case shook the entire nation. With tears in eyes and candles in hands, the people came out on the roads for the justice. The justice for a young paramedical student who got raped and was brutally beaten up by six men on a moving bus, late at night in the national capital on 16th December 2012. She was traveling with her male friend. Even the guy was beaten up so badly by the accused. 30 minutes of torture and they both were thrown out of the bus, lying helpless on the road and moaning for help. The lady was admitted to the hospital and several severe internal injuries were reported by the doctors. Battling against the injuries for more than 12 days, she died on 29th December, early in the morning. We cannot even think of the suffering of the victim. Her parents lost their daughter, the government lost the trust of the people and the women all over the nation lost the sense of security. If the government would have made strict laws against the rape cases, do you think the accused have dared to commit it? Not at all! Not only this, there are numerous serious cases of crimes against women in the public areas and the government is still making the laws.

Coming to the day-to-day difficulties faced by the women while traveling at night, let us take the example of Delhi metros. Metros are being considered as the safest and the most convenient public transport but, are they really safe for women? It is not always possible that you get a chance to enter to the Women coach due to the heavy rush and if by chance you land into a general coach and you are a female, trust me it is not going to be easy for you to ignore the men staring at you or touching you intentionally. It is reported by many women that sometimes men even follow them after they get off the metro. Also, not every metro station has the security guards or the cops after a short distance from the checkout area. So, if the metro itself is not really safe how can we consider the public buses or the autos or the public cabs to be safe? Not even travelling by your own vehicle late at night is safe nowadays.

 We have the example of the recent case of the women, who was stalked by two men on the road while she was driving back to her home by car in Chandigarh, late at night. She reported the situation immediately to the cops. They arrived on time and the lady was saved. The stalkers were taken to the police station immediately. Can you imagine what could have happened to her if the cops didn’t reach at the spot on time? The result would have been scary!

Despite the number of laws for women safety in India, the crime against women does not stop. There is a need of making public places and transport safe for women not only at nights but in the daytime as well, so that they could travel at any place, at any time without any fear.

Following are the steps that should be taken to make our nation a safer place for women.

  1. The ladies should be confident and should immediately report to the women helplines, whenever they feel something is going to be wrong with them. Every helpline should react immediately if they get any complaint, and should report to the spot in the shortest time.
  2. Patrolling by the police should be made mandatory on the streets, especially during nights.
  3. All public transport must be on GPS with installed CCTVs in buses.
  4. Random checking of buses and other public transports at night by the authorities should be done.
  5. Ladies, be aware of yourself, your surroundings and the potential attacker’s likely strategies. Getting self-defense training will help a lot. Keeping a safety weapon like the pepper spray is also a good idea. Moreover, ‘Escape and run’ will also help you to reduce some risks.

A woman covers almost half population of the country so they are half participants in the growth and development of India. We are running in the 21st century, an advanced era, however, it is very shame to say about the doubtful safety of the woman. We should not blame the government because women safety is not only the responsibility of government only, it is the responsibility of each and every Indian citizen especially men who need to change their mindset for women.




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