Not so safe on Delhi streets

September 30, 2011

As a thriving metropolis, New Delhi is taking steps towards becoming a world-class city but the safety of its residents remains a concern — especially if you are a woman.

A Thomson Reuters survey ranks India as the fourth most unsafe place for women in the world. And its capital is no safe haven for its female residents.

But what makes New Delhi so unsafe? Experts differ on whether it’s the deep seated psyche of a male-dominated society, its socio-economic diversity or perhaps both.

Molestation, sexual harassment and even rape have become so common that staying safe is often seen as the woman’s responsibility.

Earlier this month, a woman travelling in an auto-rickshaw barely escaped when two men in a passing van tried to grab her. The auto-rickshaw driver was in cahoots with the kidnappers but the woman managed to evade them and jump out, leaving her bag behind. The woman, whose T-shirt was torn during her escape, sought refuge with a policeman who started questioning her, inadvertently letting the would-be rapists escape.

The woman was dressed in a T-shirt and jeans. The incident took place around 8 in the evening. And there were many witnesses, who watched apathetically.

In such cases, officials often blame the woman’s attire. Would the men not have attempted kidnapping the woman if she was wearing a saree, salwar-kameez or a burqa? The latter would probably lessen the chances.

Is there a definition for appropriate attire, behaviour, a certain way of being — or all of them put together — to ensure no unwanted attention?

So far as New Delhi is concerned, it is widely understood that the new-age woman, boldly breaking social mores and stepping into male domains, needs to be extremely cautious of the way she carries herself in public places. Why is a woman walking in the street seen as fair game if a man isn’t with her?

Across the length and breadth of India, it is difficult to determine what state or city is more conservative than the other.

A survey by Jagori, a women’s rights group, and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) last year reveals that two out of every three women in New Delhi have been sexually harassed at least twice and up to five times in one year. Seventy percent of the men interviewed said they would rather not intervene.

The establishment often forgets to ask what gives any man the licence to ogle, grope or rape a woman no matter what she may or may not be wearing. The question isn’t only about attire, it is in fact about a deep-seated mentality that runs into many centuries of an extremely sexually repressed India, where the repression translates itself into violence at various levels.

Where do we draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour? Is there hope for New Delhi?

5 comments

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The problem India is facing is multidimensional and in short the entire social structure is in the process of changing due to the huge difference that exist between the rich and the poor.

Every individual’s desire to live a better life has pushed the social environment towards sex business. As it is the sure short process for women of questionable characters to quickly climb up the ladder to the top class of the society.

Later, they give up and get married to a suitable person and live . But in the process they leave behind men who become sex menace.

What we see in Delhi is the doing of the women themselves making now women with better characters the victims of sex offenders.

Then I will only touch upon the film industries contribution of spoiling the social environment of a conservative society is 60/70 percent.

I decline to elucidate further as it a very sensitive sector. However, how and why it contributes would not be difficult to visualize if one brood quietly even .

Then Government’s ineptness to handle properly the situation that went out of hand now , corrupt practices in police department, Justice department and all the rest of the factors joined together that gave rise to such a morbid situation in capital city of India.

The situation will further deteriorate in coming days in future. India may be smeared with bad names through the world for sex uncontrolled cause.

I suppose this should be enough to open the eyes of the relevant authorities to get down to work or face the situation as stated herein above.

Posted by KINGISKING | Report as abusive

Rape or forcible sexual contact is indeed the most shameful facet of humanity. It causes ultimate social and psychological dissuasion of a woman. 7 years’ imprisonment penalty assigned for rape is not good enough to put a stop on this brutality.Why not set tough penalty for rape such as death sentence.

Source:http://www.chakreview.com/Social- issues/Why-not-Death-penalty-for-Rape

Posted by hdhakhdjak1257 | Report as abusive

if the article concludes that it is “many centuries of an extremely sexually repressed India”, then I would say we need serious cultural change to remove repression from society. the government also needs to legalise and allow prostitution in specified areas in big cities so that ppl who need sex could go there than chase women on streets.

Posted by jb01986 | Report as abusive

Learning techniques for defending yourself and others against attackers and eve-teasers can be one solution to this problem. Free self-defence demonstration classes are available such as this one in North Delhi: http://www.skillkindle.com/guestuser_cla ssdetails_preevent.aspx?classID=34

Posted by SkillKindle | Report as abusive

SUGGESTIONS ON MAKING DELHI/INDIA SAFE PLACE FOR WOMAN

WOMAN PROTECTION FORCE (WPF)

I am a Gurgaon resident and wanted to get in touch with you all for a project on WOMAN PROTECTION IN INDIA which I want to pursue
I have some ideas which i wanted to share with you and seek your opinion on how we can make Delhi a safe place for woman.

The area of concern of this project is to focus on areas on how we can prevent incidents like Rapes/molestation/stalking/eve teasing/ domestic violence .The concerns which are visible on news channel are focussing on what should be done after the incident has happened.

I want to propose a system which should be put in place only for woman and their empowerment.

The intended result of the system if implemented would be total security for all woman in India (rural area and urban areas included)
Points As follows:

1) WOMAN PROTECTION FORCE (WPF)
WPF would be a team of woman / young and bold girls who will be trained for defensive techniques and would be given certain tools which they can use at the time they catch the wrong doers. These tools are basically electric bars or rods (Tasers) which on click of button can make the other person unconscious or numb depending on thevoltage rating which is adjustable.
Taking Delhi as an example : Delhi can be divided into 4 areas- North, South, West, East. All these 4 areas need to be divided into sub areas. All sub areas need to be further divided into sub areas. Every sub-sub area would be guarded by the woman protection force. This team of extraordinary woman would be only dedicated only for the safety of woman in the areas allocated to them. This can be worked on a day shift and night shift basis as this duty has to be on 24 hrs and 7 days a week. They will have vehicles – bikes, jeeps, scooties, which will have a GPS locator to track the distress signal (Distress signal coming from a radio frequency chip) such as in mobile phones.
We can coordinate with Telecom providers to let the police hone into signals from which such distress calls are received for swift location and hence atleast be able to reach the scene of intended crime. More details on this “Chip” are below -

2) DISTRESS SIGNAL – RADIO FREQUENCY CHIP/DEVICENow, this device /chip would be part of clothing, accessory for every girl walking on the streets of Delhi at any point of time. This chip has to be modular and can fit with any kind of clothing or accessory. This kind of chip is used in Canada for the parents to track their children location. Its a part of the children’s uniform t-shirt collar.
Now, all of a sudden, if the girl/woman senses an attack , she can use that device to give a distress signal to the nearest woman protection force available for her help. Now, for her to give signal at the point of attack, she simply needs to press the button on the chip. Its like a lifeline. Now, even if she is on a moving bus or has been taken in a moving vehicle, her location can be tracked. If the vehicle is moving from one sub area to another sub area, the distress signal keeps getting low in one area and higher in the next area, where the vehicle is leading. The WPF of that area is on the move already as they have the information with them. In a matter of minutes, this vehicle can be caught and stopped and girl can be saved from a disaster.
3) ROAD BARRICADES FOR HALTING / TRAPPING RUNAWAY VEHICLESNow, when the distress signal is helping us track the location of vehicle, then we can simply know where the road blocks can be made or activated for the vehicle to be stopped. Now, pushing the barricades manually onto the middle of that road on which the vehicle is moving is easier or having automatic pop up units installed at all signals can be really helpful. Which ever method is suitable, we can go in for that. Technology is ever growing and can be used for the betterment of the society.

4) WOMAN SELF DEFENSE PROGRAMMESOrganizing defense programmes for woman in all major localities of India (say Delhi for example) wherein lots of young girls and woman can spend 2-3 hrs and learn self defense techniques which will give them empowerment and they can be ready to face attacks , not only a the time of rape, but also if some wicked boys stalk her, or try eve teasing and molesting or even at the time of domestic violence. These programs will be organized by lady police officers.

5) POST ATTACK TRAUMA COUNSELLINGA dedicated team of doctors and trauma counsellors would be put in place for making sure that the girl is ok after the kidnapping incident.

6) FAST TRACK COURTS FOR WRONG DOERSWhen incident like these take place so swifly, then creation of courts which can take swift decisions for the wrong doers does make sense at this point of time.

7) AWARENESS PROGRAMMES FOR “BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS WOMAN” & GENDER SENSITIZATION
Many types of awareness programmes can be organized on public places for a group of say 1000 people at a time by eminent speakers and leaders like Mrs. Kiran Bedi , Mrs. Mamta Sharma etc.
These programmes would not only instill awareness, but also people would start feeling responsible for the safety of delhi as their own state and capital.
A value added education to be started at school levels as a module for imparting education/awareness on behaviour towards woman. This would instill moral value in all students starting from the school level.

An awareness program for Woman’s rights can be organized in all rural and urban areas to let all Woman/girls know their rights. Making them aware about their rights is going to make a huge difference.

8) Informing concerned authorities about areas which are not well lit up and isolated.

9) Organizing a program for instigating the feeling of “ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE” in colleges/corporate offices and workplaces which will help girls/woman deal with the problem of eve teasing and stalking powerfully.

10) Organizing a march or a parade in the night in various areas in India (once every fortnight) for sending out a clear message that Woman Can Come Out at anytime in the night and Can wear any kind of cloths.

11) Introducing special type of accessories which woman can choose to wear. This type of accessories are something which can handy to the woman at the time of attack. These items are called anti rape devices. For eg: For woman who generally wear jeans/trousers, they can wear a code lock belt along with it . Code lock belts are belts which can be opened with the help of a 3-digit number lock (the ones which you get to see in travel luggages) this will ensure that at the time of attack the girl can buy some time for herself before Woman Protection Force comes and saves her. Many more such cost effective accessories can be made for woman to use.

12) Auto rikshaws run by Woman can be something which can ensure safety for Woman. These auto rikshaws can be available at all major corners of the cities, villages, towns for ensure safe pick and drop for ladies.

13) In public transport- buses, there can be a divider which ensures that woman can sit one one side of the divider and male citizens can sit on the other side of the divider. All buses can be equipped with SOS distress signal facility in case of any problems and that signal can be again traced by GPS system available with WPF vehicles and police vehicles, for them to easily track the vehicle and stop it with immediate effect.

Apart from the above mentioned points, there maybe so many other ideas which can make a big difference to the society. But, ideas which prevent rapes, domestic violence, eve teasing, molestation, stalking from happening in the nights, broad daylight need to be focussed as its the need of the hour . We need to reach out to take opinions of people, especially students, teachers, NGOs, involve TV channels, radio channels and spread this message all across the country.

The mind of a rapist has always remained like this and will continue to do so. People can be made aware, but cant be guaranteed to have transformed their thinking.

The above measures would ensure not changing anything in the present scenario, but only putting in place a system backed by technology. Some fine tuning maybe required to make this system practically feasible and it can prove to be a great success.

Re-instating that the main aim of such a system is to empower woman, give them access to being strong in the face of so much crime and keeping this system in place, one day is sure to come when there will be degree of equality b/w men and woman. Our society wont be addressed as a male dominated society.

I am willing to stand for , participate and do everything in my control to make empowerment present for all girls/woman in Delhi/NCR and India on the whole

Its my humble request to you to kindly give me some feedback on the draft proposal above so that we can put in place a system for making India a safe place for woman

Your support in the form of suggestions, opinions, volunteering for taking surveys in your respective residence, getting us in touch with the NGOs, decision making authorities will be really helpful

Lets work together and make India a safer place for Woman

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD
Jai Hind

Posted by Hitesh104 | Report as abusive