Narrow roads, unlit stretches and a far-from-safe public transport system — these are just some of the infrastructural problems Delhi’s women face, a survey conducted by the women and child development department has revealed.
Widening roads have eaten into footpaths, making them narrow. This, women say, makes them more vulnerable to being teased or groped.
“Making your way home from the Metro station is also a difficult task. You have to either ask a family member to pick you up or rely on cycle rickshaws, which are not safe,” said a senior Delhi government official.Aparna Singh, a Delhi University student, faces this problem. "I travel by Metro daily as it is quite safe. But the moment I get out of the station, I have to ring my parents to pick me up as the entire stretch leading to my house is poorly lit."
“While there are now laws in place to deal with sexual harassment at the work place and domestic violence, the public space that women use — the bus stop, the public transport system, pavements, etc — there is a need to make that safe,” said Kiran Walia, minister of women and child development. “We will be taking up these issues with the authorities concerned and the police too.”
The department got in touch with residents’ welfare associations and women in November 2011 to find out what makes them feel unsafe in public.