While one person has been detained allegedly for the attack on a 28-year-old American national in a suburban train, expatriates say that they feel secure in the country’s financial capital.
Veila Aila-Unsworth, 36, a New Zealand national, who has been living in the city for more than four years, said, “Once, while returning home late at night, some boys on the road started passing nasty comments. On another occasion, an autorickshaw driver started stalking my friend and me.”
Despite the incidents, Veila feels the city is safe to live in. “I feel Mumbai is very safe. I have spent a few years in Sydney and I think it is way more dangerous,” she said.
Emily Harrison, a 36-year-old businesswoman who has her office at Khar and has been living in the city for five years said that the people in the city are hospitable.
“Although I am a single woman living alone, I lead a care-free life. I go out on the streets, take the train, autorickshaws, but have never been witness to any untoward incident,” said Harrison, an Australian national, who lived for a year in Tamil Nadu before moving to Mumbai.
Elise Collin, 27, another Australian woman, who has been living in a rented apartment with her partner for the past two years, said, “I think if you take the necessary precautions such as avoiding travel late at nights, you can avoid trouble. Mumbai has never made me face any bitter circumstances.”
Meanwhile, Adina Georke, a 25-year-old native of Germany who lives at Bandra’s Hill Road and works with an NGO, said, “Despite the bad experiences that you hear of, the public transport system here is safe. There is more harassment in terms of auto drivers trying to fleece you, assuming you don’t know the rates.”
“What happened with the American national a few days ago was very unfortunate. But that doesn’t mean that all female foreign nationals should stop stepping out of the house. It was a one-off incident,” said Harrison.