Bangalore is a big city and is growing by the day. It is a cosmopolitan hub where people reside not only from various parts of India but also from various parts of the world. Though there is clear diversity seen in the age groups of the total population of Bangalore, youngsters and college going students are dominant in this category. A good number of girls are pursuing their education and stay alone in flats or rented rooms. Many single ladies are working in Bangalore to build up a career. In this situation, how safe is the IT Centre of India for young girls and working women, is the matter which requires urgent attention. Several online portals conducted surveys alongside various national and local newspapers to find an answer about the question of safety of girls. Some declared Bangalore to be the third safest city in India while others claim it to be the safest among all or the second on the list. These claims might help parents and young girls and women, most importantly to take a sigh of relief. But does this mean that every single girl or lady is completely safe irrespective of what time of the day it is or whether she is travelling alone is an auto or by the local bus after 9 pm?
Certainly not. Not denying the fact that Bangalore is safer when compared to cities like Delhi, yet it is not the safest. Bangalore too has its share of problems when it comes to safety of women.
To start with, eve-teasing is one of the major issues. Girls are teased by bikers and group of boys when they are walking alone or even in a group. Comments are passed about their clothes or they are called by names and irritating noises are made by the bikers. A few auto drivers and bus conductors also do not miss any opportunity and start singing songs when they see girls. This is most prevalent on MG Road and Brigade Road stretch which are two most happening and party places in the city. And it is here where guys are trying to touch and feel up girls in the crowded streets, especially during the evenings. In such untoward situations , it is safer for the girl not to react if she is alone . Ignoring and not reacting to the noises and faces made by boys is a smart way to stop it there. It is possible that the girl might invite trouble for herself when all alone. If a group of girls are being attacked ,then it is advisable to shout and seek for help. Bringing the cheap unhealthy behavior of such men in the eyes of the public can help make atleast a few men realize their mistake .
The auto drivers are a big menace to college girls. They are demanding and behave rudely with girls. It is definitely not safe for a girl to travel by an auto alone with situations becoming worse each day. As a result of this, girls have to wait for long hours to get back home or hop into an auto after totally satisfying herself of her safety. And some are still not relieved till the minute they get down of the auto and reach home.
Another disastrous problem that many girls face in Bangalore is the lack of security in their paying guest houses or PG’s, as most of us call. Generally the time restrictions in a PG start from 10 pm. Even if girls wish to stay out till 10 in the night, again there is a fear in their in minds of getting back safe till their PG. First travelling alone is an issue and next there are no security guards for independent PG’s. The presence of a security guard will keep the girls contended and they will not be scared go out to their PG’s either in the afternoon or late evenings. They can call out to the security guard for help in times of emergency and can seek help from them while boarding or getting down from an auto in front of the PG.
The list does not end here. Girls and women have a number of complaints concerning travelling by BMTC or private buses. Even after clear segregation of the “LADIES” and “GENTS” seats in a BMTC bus, girls often find men seated in the ladies section. They are uncomfortable and helpless. Conductors are not strict and allow men to occupy the ladies seats. While if a girl is seen in the men’s section, she is stared at as though she has committed a crime. Only few bold girls and ladies have the courage to fight for their seats or request the men to get up and empty the seat. This fear has to be wiped out and can happen only when the men are more aware and become sensitive towards such things. The government needs to make sure that these rules are followed strictly for increasing the safety of girls in the buses. Their promise of installing CCTV cameras in the buses remains unfulfilled. Nevertheless, the public needs to be more careful and women need to speak up.
Likewise, there are many more minor as well as major issues which need to be addressed at the earliest. Though things are changing, the ultimate change is yet to take place. Girls are smarter and more alert. They make all arrangements of their safety before stepping out. They are no longer quiet and shout out for help when required. But they need public support as well. Many girls do not receive help when they scream out though there are a hundred of them surrounding and staring at her. We need to show courage and help even those whom we are not familiar with , if not for anything , we should , for the sake of humanity.
It is rather sad and shameful that girls and women cannot move around without fear even after residing in a metropolitan city where people are educated. Government negligence and lack of security personnel are the root cause of most of the problems and requires immediate attention.
Personal efforts on the part of the girl are appreciated. But is she ready to give a thump’s up to the safety meter of Bangalore? Or favors a thump’s down. Let her decide and not the statistics.