After a safety audit conducted in some areas of south Delhi, including Badarpur, Hauz Khas and Mehrauli, by an NGO revealed several loopholes in women's security, the Delhi Police have decided to conduct more such audits to cover the whole of south Delhi.
For this purpose, the police have decided to rope in several NGOs working towards safety and security of women in the city.
The NGOs have been asked to look into the micro details such as taking stock of dark spots in the area, identifying poorly-lit stretches, gathering information on whether subways are used by women or whether the infrastructure is women-friendly.
For instance, if there are public conveniences for women, is the public transport properly connected to ensure the ride towards their house is safe?
They will also need to make a list of anti-social elements who are often found gambling in open spaces or public parks.
“An audit report of Badarpur carried out by NGO Jagori was submitted to us charting out the problems women face in that area. As it is not possible for one NGO to audit the entire south Delhi area, we have decided to take the help of several NGOs to assist us in finding the shortcomings,” said Ajay Chaudhry, additional CP (southeast).
This is the first time that the Delhi Police have decided to commission the audits, asking NGOs for help to find out what women are wary of and the facilities that are lacking in the city as far as the security of women is concerned.
The gang rape of the 23-year-old woman in south Delhi on December 16 seemed to be the triggering factor with the police finally gearing up and taking up a slew of measures to make the city women-friendly.
“We held a number of meetings with the NGOs and have discussed the issue at length. Areas will soon be shortlisted and the audit will start,” said a senior police official.
“In the Badarpur audit, it was pointed out that the bus shelters used by women are not properly lit. The subway in the area was also poorly lit and there was no security guard. Also, police presence was not adequate around the schools in the area,” added the official.
An audit carried out by Jagori in Badarpur, Hauz Khas and Mehrauli also pointed out that 'women avoid using markets as soon as it starts getting dark as vacant spaces are being used for gambling and drinking by men'.
Also, poorly lit stretches have changed the lifestyle of local residents who preferred to shop for their daily needs during the day time. Both the markets audited were starkly male-dominated after dark.