It has been two years since the Nirbhaya incident took place in New Delhi that shook the whole world. This brutal incident has tormented the belief of how women are treated outside their home. There were several candle light vigils and innumerable protests in different parts of India which lead to the arrest of the molesters and court has also given their verdict in a short time.
But two years after this incident, I ask this question to myself -- can I travel safely in my city? The answer is still NO. This is not just me but several young women in India don't feel safe to travel in public transport. There are many instances of groping, cat calling and staring incidents within a bus or a busy street. But unfortunately, people don't come forward to help the victim in most cases. Take the example of Nirbhaya case where the victim and her friend they were lying on the street semi naked and badly injured but people turned their faces against them. It is after half an hour someone tried to help them. This is the case everywhere in India.
After the nirbhaya incident, police has become quick in reporting FIRs in such cases and also to start investigating as soon the incident is reported. But is it the only responsibility of the police to protect women of our country? No. Anyone can come forward and protect if they see something like this on their street. It will take years for the men of our country to come out of the myth that they are powerful and can do anything with women. We will have to stand up and stop this kind of crime.
Apart from the eve teasing and stalking in buses, taxis and autos are also no longer safer during night time. There has been a recent case of Uber taxi driver raping a young woman who was coming late from her office and dozed off in the taxi. Government's action for this.. ban Uber taxis. But this is not the only solution. Government should enforce the taxi companies to have a live gps tracking and if anyone tries to shut off the gps then immediately their details should be reported to the police. Such vigilance is definitely required by the cab companies. These issues should be eradicated from the grassroot levels. It is a social responsibility of everyone to come forward and help women when they fall in such situations. Having raised in India, I know that every women undergoes one or other form of public harassment. Usually, we are used to the common ones like eve teasing, stalking and cat calling in public but nowadays what I see is that women are more coming forward and reporting such incidents. Where as few years back these incidents were unreported as women felt uncomfortable in revealing the incident to the police. It will surely take more than a good security from police for controlling such situations.
Few things what could be done are: buses specially for women, women section in the buses, women police deployed at the vulnerable areas for patrolling, no place for men who drink and ride buses, women should be taught to shout and call people for help even for the smallest issue like someone brushing against them. Men should be given more stricter and humiliating punishments in public which would discourage future molesters. Often we see celebrities and famous people making hue and cry about women safety online and then nothing happens. I wish these people would take more action in their day to day life rather than just typing a big article directing towards the prime minister. Time has come that film industry should also be scrutinized for objectifying women in most of the films. India is the land where goddesses are worshiped. Then why this is happening with their own women ! After thinking and reading so much about this I take a pledge to stand against this issue. I hope you do the same.