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On Saturday, I attended Indiblogger and TOI’s Bloggers Meet held in Bangalore. I was curious as to how the session would pan out. And the topic is extremely relevant and emotional to all women. The discussions and sharing of experiences were lively and emotionally charged to say the least. And despite hearing horrendous tales and reading them in newspapers day in and day out, it still affects me when I hear a lady describe her ordeal while being stalked to the verge of being molested or another bullied by a man and forced to be out on the streets at 2 am at night bag and baggage. Another lady from the North East had to stop taking autos and get a two-wheeler because she could not deal with the daily harassment meted out to her by auto drivers. It makes me so ashamed to hear it. It is so very sad that we can’t approach the police, are scared for every step that our child takes and every time when we venture out on the street.

It is not surprising to know that Bangalore is number 2 among all metropolises in terms of overall crime after Delhi. Crime against women is a huge concern in India, and Bangalore is no exception. I don’t remember feeling this unsafe in my childhood years or college years. Has the society gotten worse? I don’t know. I have been living in Bangalore for the last 10 years now. And let me share some first-hand experiences I have had. Yes, I feel scared to drive even at 9 pm. Once on New Year’s Eve a few years ago, my husband and I had gone for a movie to a mall. We had taken our car that was parked across the street. While crossing the street, I was groped by a man who walked away quickly. I was disgusted, but could not do a thing. The streets were milling with drunken crowds. It was an agony getting back home in the car which was stopped by drunk men multiple times on our way back. Luckily worse things did not happen because what protection can a family have in a crowd of drunken men with beer bottles in hand gheraoing your car? That experience scared the daylights out of me.

Since that day, I have stopped venturing out for New Year’s Eve parties. When I drive, I am stared at, glared at, leched at, and intimidated. No, I don’t feel safe traveling alone in public transport either beyond day time. I was robbed in one such bus ride. I do take buses but when with family or larger groups. Crowds do give a semblance of safety but not necessarily so. I was once rammed by a speeding truck while my car was stationary. Instead of apologizing, the driver, his cleaner and his cronies threatened me in foul language though a couple of people came to my rescue but they were asked to back off and threatened as well. I did take a picture of the truck and its license plate and complained to the police with the photos of my damaged car. But the traffic police though responding to my email said they could not do anything! And meanwhile I was so shaken that it took a lot of confidence boosting on my husband’s part to make me drive the car again. I have seen that in a conflict situation, knowing Kannada becomes of prime importance, as many immigrants or outsiders at the meet also pointed out. As Bangalore is a cosmopolitan metropolis with people from all states rubbing shoulders with the 40% Kannadigas residing here, it is high time that the city stopped judging you or looking down upon you on the basis of the language you speak. Yes, I understand Kannada but can’t speak fluently. Judge me or condemn me for that if you wish to but don’t attack me for it.

So, as a woman here are some things that I feel can make Bangalore safer and more empathetic to its women citizens:

  • A functional helpline: If caught in a crowd situation, being stalked, in an accident etc. I want to reach out to an empathetic helpline maybe run in conjunction with traffic department, police and Women’s NGOs together that is manned by multilingual persons 24X7 with functioning numbers. It can be advertised in major newspapers and online forums so that everyone knows it. This hopefully can become every woman’s first go in a sticky situation.
  • A website: This website can be a treasure trove of information as well as a networking place for community participation. Women and men can come forward and form hangouts in their area to volunteer for Neighborhood watch, Rescue a person in distress, help take an accident victim to hospital, car pool, for garbage management etc. We must actively work at community building to tackle the multiple problems faced in the city of Bangalore including safety. And this website can be a nodal point for such interactions. It can have its social media pages for more active participation. These kinds of interlinked community groups can have better leverage with civic organizations, Corporators and MLAs to bring about real change on the ground. We can make our own selves responsible for our civic issues. Also other information like women’s help workshops, specific helplines for issues like domestic violence, sexual abuse etc. can be shared here. This can be a website in liaison with a newspaper and Corporates to encourage participation of all agencies in Bangalore. It can have informative sessions like the one offered by Mr. Franklin Joseph on confidence and body language in deterring physical attack. I wish there was more time spent on that in the meet. The website can also highlight good samaritans like in this post that I had done recently. It can be used to name and shame known offenders with pictures and other information. Basically a place that brings all like-minded people and resources that in a combined way can work towards making Bangalore safer and better.
  • An empathetic police force: My solo experience of filing an FIR at a police station after losing my wallet was very smooth. I was told to sit down explained the procedure, and told to write a letter in English. The copy of which they gave to me readily after stamping and signing. Yet, we do need more policewomen, women hawaldars and traffic policewomen as most women do not feel safe in approaching the police. This cannot happen overnight. But, to begin with, there must be a woman incharge at every police station for taking police complaints or for filing FIRs so that a woman can feel more comfortable approaching the police especially for violent crimes, molestation, stalking, domestic violence and such issues that require empathetic and non judgmental handling. Police stations can have awareness campaigns around how a woman can approach a police station for a complaint, the steps involved in filing an FIR, special phone lines for women to register complaints etc. Keeping the cosmopolitan nature of the city in mind, English and other languages must also be accepted along with Kannada in police stations and other civic agencies.
  • Awareness campaigns in schools: Schools must be roped in to receive special supplements and updates from police or media about how to stay safe. Sex education and information on child abuse must be made a mandatory part of the curriculum to educate and safeguard both our girl and boy children.

There are many more issues that concern women like health, education, child and mother care, illiteracy, domestic violence and so on. But, I believe that in a city, safety and security are paramount. An unsafe city sees women withdrawing from venturing out and social participation, from exploring job opportunities that require them to travel long distances or work late hours. It is not only the woman’s loss but the loss of an entire community, city and nation.

Apart from being your mother, wife, daughter, a woman is a human being first! Just like a man she deserves to feel safe and to walk out of her home without fearing that she will be attacked, mauled or killed solely due to her gender. Hopefully we can mobilize enough support from the society, citizens, civic agencies and Corporates to make this a safer city for all its citizens!

Pic courtesy: Freedigitalphotos.net

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74 Thoughts on “Bangalore for Women: We want a safe city!

  1. Anyday, anyday..I like a post that not only points out problems but also solutions!! So adding in my voice to the post and urging an replication of the same in all cities–time women felt safe all over India and all over the world!

  2. That was one of the issues for me, Rachna! This perception of ‘outsiders’. And it is a 2-way problem. The women also do not feel comfortable complaining to the police because of the same expectation of ‘Outsider’ vs. local issues.

    • I agree Suresh. It is a two-way problem. But trust me, if it is not language, there will be something else that a person will find to target you. And, I have gone to the police station and complained. And I won’t say that they don’t respond or are bad. But it is a general attitude on Indian streets that people turn belligerent and try to shout you down. It is worse for women but it happens with men too. Very very sad. Besides local parties try to sensationalize the issue for their votebanks. Women are truly vulnerable in such situations.

  3. You are absolutely correct that this issue should be widely taken up and make life difficult for the roadside Romeous. The laws of the country must be made more stringent.The real position is that the things are going from bad to worst.

    • I agree Ushaji, This issue needs urgent attention, And better law enforcement can act as a deterrent. Moral degradation needs to be addressed as well.

  4. Having lived in Delhi and Bangalore, my experience is that Bangalore is better. But as you say not knowing Kannada was used against me by auto drivers and vendors. This is a gem of a post as it comes with some sensible solutions.

    • I agree Alka. Delhi is worse and Mumbai and Ahmedabad are better cities for safety of women. Thank you for your vote of confidence, I hope somehow somewhere a beginning is made.

  5. Its just not Bangalore. It is every city in India. There is no woman who has never been stalked, groped in her life. There is no man who has never groped, eyes, latched at, or stalked a woman.

    • I agree about the woman part, Ambika. There is no Indian woman who has not suffered this and this is the tragedy of this nation.

    • @ambika,do ya hate men?no man who has never groped?all these things are happening coz women din’t evolve psychologically with same pace as men.if you have evolved without depending on men from centuries,women might have got equal treatment as men.most women are opportunistic for comfort and later blame men.try to be wiser than men,every man will respect woman.women are dependent on men from centuries and even today to greater extent and you expect royal treatment from men.women do complain about male domination,if women are wise and ethically right,none can dominate you.how good are you as a person in your personal life?

      • 🙂

        Eve convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit and thus God sent them to Earth and here you are convinced that women didn’t evolve psychologically with same pace as men. Why should women prove that she deserves respect? We don’t expect royal treatment from men. We expect to be treated with respect and dignity, we are also human. How do you mean by ethically right? And btw, if women are dependent on men for their security then men are dependent on us for everything – physical, mental, children, in-laws, money, food, medical…everything. Gone are those days when men earned and called the shots. We earn and still manage to serve dinner by 9 PM. From daily soaps to movies everything is female dominated. If women stop working even for a day, India’s economy will take a hit. What are your thoughts on men who rape foreigners and 3-year olds? Do you think it is okay to rape them and still expect them to evolve mentally strong? It is correct to say that girls are not safe in her mother’s womb and nor is she safe outside. No don’t question my morality, I am not insane. And yes, I don’t hate men.

        • rohan (@rohan_xy) on April 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm said:

          wow,you din’t get my point.financial freedom doesn’t make a woman independent.a person gets respect and becomes independent when she is as responsible as men in social responsibilities.

          you live far from reality,women get roles in soaps and movies only if they sleep with every important contact to build their career.did ya ever see a thinker in women in past or present or future.there are men and women who are feminists and they are corporate cubicle bunnies and on the other hand we have house aka kitchen bunnies.have you ever seen two women or girls discussing social issues or politics,do they have any opinion on political leadership with clarity.most of women in modern world are financially independent but not responsible citizens.when i saw women in branded jeans and t-shirts protesting delhi rape in delhi,i could not stop laughing at their superficial emotions and protests.you know how a good and responsible citizen protests,he/she wont spend time on streets lighting candles with chatter/banter to pose to media cameras.they think big to change lawmakers.

          i don’t depend on god or i don’t believe in adam n eve story.humans are gifted with wisdom equal to that of god.so all answers and solutions lie within.am really scared to write comments in a girl/woman blog coz whenever i wrote genuine and serious comments,they asked me not to complicate their blog or not to spoil spirit of blog coz they like only cool girlie stuff they learnt from four walls of house and corporate office cubicles.most of girls/women asked me to leave their blog,generally i don’t write in girls blog coz i am not superficial person whose thinking is limited..sometimes i do write when i feel like.

          i never said its right to rape a girl coz she is weak.rapes happen due to many circumstances and reasons related to victim and accused.i can explain,but do ya have patience to read and understand.

          there are two groups in our society, educated and finacially sound people who have access to girls and have choice of multiple relationships with modern good looking girls.

          second group is less educated and illiterates who see beautiful and tight dressed girls only on tv,newspapers and in movies.these guys don’t have enough options for sex or in choosing girls.western influence on our society makes these people go crazy coz neither they have education nor values instilled due to their family background and poverty..

          did ya ever see a starved beggar ,he runs madly for food.same is with sex starved or deprived.some do rapes coz of psychological issues and they can be classified as men cheated by women,psychotic,grudge on women due to past family situations.

          i can’t explain whole cultural chaos here which has lost ethics,values for food and money.

          its up to you how you understand such society.i never had inferior thinking about women,but to be frank most of girls behavior doesn’t impress me .i have learnt what affection is from my mother and fundamentals of wisdom from my dad.my dad can’t compensate affection of my mom and my my mom can’t compensate fundamentals of wisdom that i have learnt from my dad.

          social behavior is different from individual to individual based on parenting and environment they grew up.

          at the end of the day,am calm and quiet coz i can’t change behavior of girls or men ,it comes with blood.

          indian ancient saying “THE ATTITUDE YOU GOT BY BIRTH WILL PERISH ONLY WITH FIREWOOD DURING FUNERAL”

          • Whether in a tight jeans and top or in simple salwar kurta, the way a man looks at her is same. We know exactly where you are looking and it is very humiliating. You can never understand how we feel because you are a man.
            I won’t disagree with your thoughts on the 2nd group of men. However, the current situation in India is that rapes are being reported in educated classes too. Fathers raping their own daughters. What guarantees India that if a woman changes her dressing sense, the rape will stop? You sound like our honorable ministers who believe that women should not step out after 7 and cover themselves from head to toe in overcoats. Do you know how easy it is to get access to porn sites? The crime against women will not go down if you ask us to cover ourselves in overcoats. The crime against women will go down if we teach our boys importance of respecting a woman and changing our boys’ outlook towards us.
            Tell you something, I was shopping for grocery the other day and I saw a bunch of 40 year old men on a lunch break following a group of foreigners. The women were in shorts and the men were staring at them like wolves, enjoying every bit of the skin. Those women come from a culture where wearing anything is okay, but what does our culture say about such men? Instead of pointing at us, why do you not write to India tourism and ask them to exercise some rules on what not to wear in India?
            I am amazed at your comment on women wearing branded jeans and t-shirts protesting Delhi rape in you think that was superficial emotions and protests. Were you not shocked and angry when those men brutally raped and killed that girl? Did you react when you heard that the girl could have been saved if the police had not wasted time deciding where to take the victim? Did you get angry on people who did not help the victims? Did you get angry because one of the rapists got through IAF and has requested the court to give him fresh clothes, fruits to eat and the court has ordered to the police to take care of his needs? Also, candle marches are a way of giving respect to the fallen hero. And because, women started the protest, voiced their thoughts, shouted slogans, came out on the street, and said Enough is Enough…the parliament and the law makers got their attention. You saw women in tight jeans and tops, but did you see their anger, tears, and emotions? Do you know for once they were not scared, they were angry? Don’t you think it is a right step, we finally rose up from our daily fears and came us one, united!
            If a man choose to live the way he wants to, a woman should have that right too. If wearing jeans and top is not part of our culture, then wearing loose fitted-bottom hanging-crux displayed jeans, unbrushed hair and look, and casual attitude is also not part of our culture.
            And one more thing, it is the lawlessness in India that has increased crime rate against women. If the laws are made stringent, we women do not have to come in our cladded jeans and top and protest about it.

    • rohan (@rohan_xy) on April 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm said:

      well ambika, you sound amateur.women are very selfish and they raise voice only when something happens to them or to their gender and they never bother society from their childhood.did ya ever think of society and social responsibilities from your school days.india got father of nation as m.k.gandhi.gandhi was so selfish, he din’t bother importance of freedom or his country until he was thrown out of first class train coach.so gandhi is role model to most of indians and they don’t bother until something happens to them.am not gandhi follower.

      i said delhi girls in branded jeans and t-shirts to make fun of them.they don’t know anything and their talk was plain stupid and momentary outburst.if you check all those girls personal lives,they wont be ethically right and are ignorant.you asked me what’s ethically right?

      ethically right=morally right=good guy or good girl=person who doesn’t hurt others or cause damage for selfish interests.

      you girls are talking about morals and social manners today,did ya ever cast your vote or do ya have any idea about your constituency MP,MLA,CORPORATOR.

      i had two 2ex-girlfriends,they too used to wear jeans and shirts.whenever i asked her to wait in a coffee shop,guys used to stare at her till my arrival and they used to leave adjacent table after looking at me.anyone will stare if they don’t get a girl or if they are living in a oppressed society where free sexual activity is dealt with aggression.many girls said to me ” if you are this good,you can’t survive in this society”.girls don’t like completely good guys,they want half-bad and half-good guy.when this bad hits them,they again start complaining and cry.i din’t change but i left girl.even girls stare at boys,everyday many girls stare at me and sometimes i do stare back,its just natural.

      you know how tough it is to get an apartment for a bachelor and landlord won’t allow gf or any kinda activity related to natural instinct of sex .if you oppress everything with ignorance,a society will turn into a jungle and barbarians.like in europe ,usa,there is no uniformity in social manners or dress code in india.hypocrisy and ignorance will bring you only sorrow.

      i am not angry with rapists and i don’t have sympathy for victim.in india,whenever someone is honest and good,people make fun of them and tease .why should i bother a country which has least respect for honesty and ethics.foreigners or women should learn how to adapt to system when you can’t change .my elder brother wife is japanese and is from tokyo,they know what india is made up of and they take necessary precautions.they never had any untoward incident from past 4years,why other foreigners have a problem.

      this is my last reply,hope you won’t disagree with facts.

  6. I like the solutions you have provided. Did the talk also focus on how women can protect themselves – any practical tips or the likes? I generally find that such discussions just touch upon the issues, discuss them and leave it at that – as if that is all that can be done. I really liked your suggestions. If these are strictly and well implemented so much would be taken care of!

    • There was a very short session with Franklin about defence techniques that was useful. Wish he could have been around longer. And the brainstorming was done by bloggers who offered inputs ranging from the radical to the sensible. Wish more concrete steps could be taken.

  7. I thought Chennai is famous for troubling women. I never had any problem in crowds when I was in Bangalore but it was in the 80’s. It must have changed now. Chennai is famous for groping small children to old ladies…from my school days to this day… And we cover our bodies completely. I am always worried for foreign women who look so vulnerable in this city of ours.

    Your suggestions are very good, but will it work out? Our men will never change whether drunk or not. Feel ashamed to say this, Rachna. Why are they like this? Is it because of TV, Cinema…item songs, double meaning or straight, blunt dirty songs etc.? Small children in reality shows do dirty dancing nowadays.

    I think I will stop now. Feel scary thinking of our children who have to face this world. Their happy nature will change gradually.

    • Yes Sandhya, Bangalore is not very safe. All the incidents I mentioned happened when I was dressed fully covered as well. I don’t know the reason behind this moral degradation perhaps public apathy and poor law enforcement as well. Yes I shudder to think about our childrens’ future as well.

  8. A very sensible post. Good to know that you had a smooth experience with the police. But in most of the cases, there is a high degree of reluctance on the part of the police to file an FIR just because the force is so entangled in red tape.

  9. You have had some bad experiences. And even I am scared to hire an auto. Actually that’s the only thing I am scared of and I always call and give the taxi or auto number to my family when I board one. Actually when I was in Bangalore in 2009, one IT employee was raped and thrown on streets. They used a spray to make her unconscious and she committed suicide that very night. So, I am very very scared after I heard that on TV. And accidents/thefts are dealt very badly or not dealt at all by police. We need some serious measures to protect our females.

    • Yes Saru. Sad but every girl in India faces leching and groping, How sick is that? Autos are quite horrible, I will take a bus but not an auto when alone. Seriously law enforcement needs to be worked upon along with mindset changes.

  10. So sorry to hear of your personal experiences. Puts things in perspective for others at how crazy things have gotten.
    Your recommended solutions sound useful and doable – I hope someone is listening.
    I really don’t know how this general lawlessness is going to be controlled. After all, how much policing can one do on a society going through our kind of moral degradation?

    • Yes things are quite bad that one is forced to seek an escort while going out. Your point is valid. Law enforcement is important but the animal within needs to be curbed. What is going wrong?. It is sick what women have to put up with day in and day out, And I really hope that someone out there is listening.

  11. Hey, Rachna, Thanks for your inputs and mentioning of my speech. Yes, I wish I had more time, Do add me at http://Facebook.com/Frank.PowertoWomen where I will mention when my next workshops are happening. Thanks 🙂

  12. Rahul on March 26, 2013 at 8:12 am said:

    Rachna, with every passing day the situation is getting worse and we continue to downslide on every scale of civility in the world. Time to act is now or it will be too late!

  13. Valid suggestions there Rachna. Whats the use of womens liberation and the like if the women cannot venture out without feeling insecure and unsafe?

  14. vishalrathod76 on March 26, 2013 at 10:34 am said:

    Whatever is happening is terrible state of nation. I don’t know where this country is heading through. Is it going be like Taliban ?
    Travel India

  15. Loved the post Rachna. You have given very valid suggestions and they are very much practical. I read a newspaper item where the police told a 35 year old woman who was raped that “Is umar mein kaun rape karega”

  16. Rachna, I didn’t even imagine in my wildest dreams that B’lore could be the 2nd city in crimes…I thought or assumed it is one of the safest cities. I know every city has its problems. WE lived in Pune 10 yrs back and we could see women standing in the bus stops fearlessly at 12.00 am; hubby and me would think, how nice of this city? would the women in HYD be able to travel like that? I am not sure how the situation is now, though. Very sorry to know your experiences..remember the post I have written after my last India trip, my travel alone at night..I still get creeps…
    I liked the suggestions you have pointed out.. It would be reallly very helpful if women had a helpline just for themselves and more women police everywhere..

    • It is not only crimes against women but general crimes like robbery, mugging, murder etc. that are on the rise too. I have traveled late at night both in Mumbai and Ahmedabad; things were much better back then. Now all cities are getting extremely unsafe.

  17. What terrible experiences you have had! I always thought Bangalore was safer. It is Delhi which gives me nightmares. Now-a-days, one doesn’t feel safe anywhere… I wonder when we can change this sick attitude of society towards women.

  18. I have experienced groping in a Bangalore city bus. At first I was horrified, but later I rammed a safety pin in the man’s arm and also the heel of my shoe on his foot. It definitely is shocking. Pune is still quite safe and people are not so bad here.

    We need to overhaul the mind sets and correct the society’s attitude towards women.

    • Yes, I used to do that too in buses etc. But here I was not prepared and was holding the hand of my toddler. I guess such crowd situations are best avoided. Yes, I have lived in Pune and found it nice. Mumbai and Ahmedabad are still safer for women. But in Bangalore, some areas and streets become deserted very soon after dark creating all kinds of security menaces. Really, we need a major overhaul in mindsets.

  19. I really do not understand the concept of groping. You have to be really sex starved and mentally unstable to do that.
    I wish there was a quick solution to this problem. And believe me, on a new year’s eve, men will grope anything. My butt was squeezed by a guy. Of course he had no idea who was because I was sitting on the iron bar of an auto and all he could see was my butt. So, it is a very good idea to stay at home in Holi, New Year’s eve and Diwali.

    • Perhaps some men are sexually frustrated or perverted, I don’t know. And there is not a girl who has not been groped in India. It is just so disgusting. Now your experience is shocking as well. I agree that it is a good idea to stay away from drunk crowds on occasions when they feel they have a license to touch you or come close to you.

  20. Very eye opening Rachna. I had no idea, always felt safe in Bangalore.

  21. Hi Rachana,
    This is my first visit here, a well written piece about a boiling subject. And ha the suggestions are really wonderful. Is there anybody listening! Keep Blogging about
    such social problems, I am here via my blog friend Shub,
    An important thing to be reminded here is that about the upcoming A to Z blog challenge for 2013
    there is still time to register
    Pl join in/ here are the connected links
    Have a wonderful time of blogging.
    Good Wishes
    Keep in touch
    I am
    Phil @ Philipscom
    An ambassador to A to Z Challenge @ Tina’s Life is Good
    And My Bio-blog

    • Thank you PVAriel. Sorry for the late response. Your comment somehow landed up in spam. Thanks for reminding me about the A to Z challenge. Many of my friends are taking it up commendably. Sadly, I just did not have the time to commit to it.

  22. I dont think it a particular city problem.
    I dont agree with those who blame absence of laws for security of women.We have laws in pplace for every offence.Problem is the implmentation by the law keepers.Can we really blame the police?
    Perhaps not.We are short of policmen and whatever we have is busy guarding the VIPs.In Delhi,there is one constable for 8.7KM of road while VIPs are surronded by security guards.
    Do you what…it is time women took the lnitiative and fought your case,even if t means one of you (lawyer) filing a PIL.

  23. Hi Rachna,

    Bangalore was one of my favorite must-be-in cities while I was studying as a student in Kochi. During those years, I never felt unsafe in Bangalore. However, today, I sense there has been a great change in Bangalore. The pulse of the city has changed. Increasingly it is becoming like Delhi. How does development and expansion of a city impact the safety quotient for women is something that I have pondered upon.

    I was glad to see a solution oriented approach to this problem in your post. If at least some of those salient points can be properly and systematically implemented in Bangalore and later adopted in other cities, it would be Godsend for many women like us who want to be able to travel in our country without fear.

    • Hi Swapna, Long time! It is difficult to understand why this is happening to all cities. I have grown up in Mumbai and it is clearly amongst the safest cities in India. I never felt unsafe even traveling alone late at night. But today, people say that Mumbai has changed. That it is unsafe. Delhi was always bad. I never liked visiting it. Though I am a North Indian, I never felt safe in the North Indian cities at all :(. And, I do hope that something concrete can be done to tackle this problem. I hope someone somewhere is listening. Thank you for connecting with the post.

  24. Hey, thanks for the super quick revert, Rachna. Yes, it’s been a while since I exchanged ideas here and it’s great to be back exchanging opinions with you on issues that we both feel strongly about.

    Regarding the issue of women’s safety, I agree with what you are saying that the trend is happening across cities. For instance, in Kerala, I cannot think of a single city where I am likely to feel safe traveling on my own after 6 pm esp in trains and pvt buses. I’d rather take an auto or a taxi after dark than public transport. It saddens me deeply that we have to live in fear in our own country simply because we are women.

    Coming to Delhi, the fear of venturing out after dark has become more pronounced after the Nirbhaya tragedy. For women, nothing has drastically changed despite tall promises from the govt that they will step up efforts to ensure the safety of women.

    Like you’ve said here, I too hope that the authorities, the cops and peoples groups work together to make our cities safer for women, girls and children.

  25. I think law enforcement is a huge problem not only for women but for crime overall. Most people know that they can get away, that policing is of poor quality, that most will not even complain and then the judicial process itself is tardy. Combined together these factors make life worse. Compounding factors are archaic mindsets.

  26. Issues well covered and good solutions. Hope someone is listening.

  27. So sorry to hear that all that happened to you. And Bangalore ranks second only to Delhi in terms of crime? Sheeks. I guess I was just lucky; I’ve moved all over the city and the outskirts on my own and even at really odd hours and it was not too bad for me. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories, tho’.
    Bangalore is a great place and it deserves to be safer. I love the pointers you put up there. Here’s wishing namma Bengaluru all the best.

    Stay safe Rachna.

  28. This is one point I have observed. knowing Kannada is very essential in Bangalore. It is not so when in Maharashtra. You can get along w/o knowing Marathi.

    • In the Mumbai that I grew up in, no one looked down upon me because I was not fluent in Marathi. But then rabidity around “Marathi manoos” began later.

  29. well rachna,your recommendations are like anna hazare lokpal bill.anna lost his way coz for implementation,one needs honest and morally right people.do you find such people in our society. check alex aka rohan

    http://dilawarrajput.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/perception-of-women/

    • Rohan, welcome to my blog. Actually I disagree with your assessment. Having a helpline or a website of resources is quite doable in my opinion. It does not require morally upright people but just a right way of implementation. And, Bangalore Police has recently announced the Janasnehi initiative that will provide mobile phones to policemen all across the city. This will enable citizens to call and complain to the closest traffic personal instead of running to the police station. I think initiatives can be implemented if there is will. Yes, mindset change is also important and required. And that will need a longer time to translate into. Anna’s movement lost its steam because all the people leading the movement were not on the same page. And mass mobilizations do not happen on a regular basis. Sadly, after the first time, it fizzled out.

  30. ok,lets start analysing its basics.TOI BLOGER MEET?TIMES OF INDIA RUNS SOFT PORN NEWSPAPER AND ITS WEBSITE HAS SOFT PORN CONTENT.toi newspaper has sports woman upskirt images and celebrities semi nude pics to attract men’s libido.don’t they have minimum work ethics how to portray woman in conservative society like india.these are double standards and hypocricy of indian media to make money by hook or crook.it just opportunism.its like toi promotes aman ki asha and at the same time dumb arnab goswami on TIMES NOW yells at pakistan on newshour debate with his mindless rants.

    in hyderabad,traffic police gave help line numbers in case if autowallahs don’t go by meter or if they misbehave.till date no action is taken on autowallahs unless there is some molestation case on woman.we should think about prevention than cure,traffic police and cops are insensitive coz they are not well educated , corrupt and they are same as hooligans.few days back,a lady driving honda activa with her husband was hit by college guys who were triple riding. both lady and husband fell down and had minor bruises.traffic cop came to these guys and said to sort out issue among themselves.is n’t triple riding against traffic law,why he din’t book errant college guys?

    there are two things in indian society,media does social initiatives to advertise , promote its business and people from corporate and ngo’s participate in this initiative without clarity on ground situation.anna din’t understand indian society,he just want to promote himslef as modern gandhi.if you start any initiative without clarity or without being honest,it wont be successful.we can write a book on basics that are neglected in india and by its people.

    • And we did not go to attend the meet because of freebies dangled by TOI or perks offered to us. We went because we wanted to brainstorm, understand issues and see what is it that we can do in terms of writing as well as in bringing about change. None of us who wrote on the issue endorsed TOI in any way or spoke about their policies, content or issues in lofty terms. Every media house has its own constraints and I am not about to go there. But they do have a reach that is undeniable. And newspapers taking up good causes for whatever hidden agenda is a good thing. Yes, there is a lot that administration needs to do and much change is warranted right from attitudes to implementations. But that does not meant that we sit quietly and wait for someone, somewhere to bring the system to the level where it is receptive to change or implementation. There are lots of things wrong with our society and that means us as individuals too. And if each one of us endeavored to make an individual change, that would be a beginning. You have a right to your opinion. If you feel that people are jumping into this without understanding or as puppets of corporates or media, I beg to differ. I am not expecting anything from them or endorsing them. Merely utilizing this initiative to share my experiences and some solutions (they may be flawed) as I understand the ground realities. I don’t believe that to feel strongly for social issues, one needs to satisfy any minimum criteria.

  31. Its not a question of B’lore or Delhi or Mumbai …it is the problem of mindset …of looking at women as objects of pleasure and desires . I am glad you attended the talk . The solutions of course are very satisfactory and would lead to some really good results …but maybe first we better start off with “Men keep your %#%# hands to yourself and for a beginning look into our eyes while speaking !

    • And, I wish that mindset change would happen soon. Meanwhile all cities are also unsafe due to a lax administration. At least tightening that must go on simultaneously.

  32. Wherever it is in India, I feel women are not safe. When the capital is so unsafe, what can we expect from other places…
    Nice solutions… wish they could be implemented….

    Change has to be brought in…

    Firstly, things will change only when the women themselves start looking towards themselves as no less than anyone. Being second to the man has been instilled in our mindset and thus the men think they can just get away with whatever they want… Obviously not all men, but the bad elements of the society.

    Secondly, the laws have to be strict and put into implementation. Until the culprit fears the consequences, he will not check his evil ways. In India there is no fear because you get away with the worst of crimes.

  33. The solutions U gave are good but to implement I feel a conjoint effort is needed .
    I heard some bangalore police page on FB is really functioning good . This one https://www.facebook.com/blrcitypolice?fref=ts
    Not sure though . I too keep praying when I have to go alone and have that fear of not knowing kannada in me !
    Even if there is no danger in reach it looks like it may engulf any second .
    Anyway good post Rachana

    • Yes, I read about that one incident that helped catch culprits. I hope they continue to stay proactive. Thank you Afshan for reading. We can only hope that changes will come about. Meanwhile, it helps to stay cautious.

      • With all these seriousness around, time for a little fun .. Tell your husband to look like a Rambo.. No one will dare to look at you ,, 🙂

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