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Delhi - The crime capital of India?

It comes as no surprise that women are vulnerable in national capital. From rape, abduction to murders, Delhi is changing its status from the political capital of India to the crime capital, feels Pritika Ghura.

delhi Updated: Oct 15, 2008 22:52 IST
Pritika Ghura

Delhi does it again. In an industry survey, the national capital of India, infamous for crime against women, topped the list as the most unsafe city for women working in night shifts with companies in IT, ITeS, aviation, media and hospitals.

It comes as no surprise that women are vulnerable in this city. From rape, abduction to murders, Delhi is changing its status from the political capital of India to the crime capital.

The thought of stepping out late at nights fill fear in the minds of young women. No longer can they trust that an evening out with friends or a reporting assignment will end up safely. Even commuting alone, especially in dark, is akin to inviting trouble. There is a fear that someone may be lurking behind, waiting to pounce and harm them.

The recent murder of a female TV journalist who was killed in Vasant Kunj while returning from work has spread a wave of panic among women workers. Late-night board meetings, wrapping up work for the presentation the next day or even having a couple of drinks with colleagues leave us with anxiety about reaching home safely. Using a public conveyance post 8 PM is unthinkable. There is a constant fear in our mind - what if I am the next victim?

In face of such a scenario, it is primarily the duty of employers to ensure the safety of their employees. They should make sure that there should be professionally-trained guards in office cabs. As a rule, the male colleagues should drop their female colleagues first.

Assocham has also suggested that government should make mandatory the installation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) in cabs used not only by BPOs but also other industries employing women on night shifts.

Even women on their part should be prepared to fend themselves if the need arises. As they say, prevention is better than cure. And women should keep in mind certain steps while stepping out of the safe haven of their homes.

1) Avoid walking alone at night or at any time in isolated areas. Predators look for opportunties to attack in isolated locations. So always avoid them.

2) Always carry pepper spray with you when you are going out alone.

3) Never pick up hitch-hikers or take lift from strangers.

4) Try to enroll for martial arts, judo classes to fend for oneself when the need arises.

5) Acts of road rage can be prevented. Drive your motor vehicle in a courteous manner. Nobody appreciates rude signs.

6) When you are in a pub or disco, never leave any food or drink unattended where it may be tampered with drugs (date rape drugs).

7) Experts say that many sexual acts are committed by people whom the victims knew - or, at least, thought they knew! Hence avoid flirting as it may lead to unwanted attention.

8) If possible, avoid wearing provocative clothes.

9) Women have the best instincts. Learn to trust your instinct, for example, when you feel you shouldn't take a particular road.

One should be alert while stepping out from home. Remember, a lot depends on how you carry yourself; and taking certain precautions will help you in the long run.