While most women are more than happy with the ‘ladies only’ coach introduced by the Delhi Metro four days ago, many of them are quite angry as several men shamelessly continue to enter and travel in these coaches.
On Tuesday, when HT traveled on several trains on the Dwarka-Anand Vihar line and the Gurgaon-Jehangirpuri Line, we found that the facility started by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on October 2 has left the women with a feeling of helplessness.
Archana and Pinto Yadav occupied seats in the reserved coach traveling to the New Delhi metro station. When asked why he was traveling in the ladies coach, Yadav said, “We are traveling together. How can I leave her alone? I am not alone, there are other men, too.”
Headed towards Jhilmil, Lakhan Rana, a 30-something carpenter, said, “I was not even aware that this is a ladies coach. If I knew, why would I have boarded this?”
With several men — old & young, literate and semi-literate and with or without women companions — encroaching on their coach, many women made their unhappiness known.
Alka Hasija, a college student from Rani Baugh, asked, “Why can’t the Metro people position a security guard between the first and second coaches? They can also impose monetary fine on men traveling in the women’s coaches. This can act as a good deterrent.”
The DMRC has, on its part, positioned volunteers at several stations to prevent men from entering the ladies coach and has also demarcated the area on the platform where the first coach halts.
Two volunteers on duty at a platform at the Kashmere Gate metro station said, “We keep telling men not to enter this coach but hardly 50 per cent of them listen.”
“Many people argue and question us ‘who are you?’ and say all kinds of things,” said the volunteers requesting anonymity.
A DMRC spokesperson said, “This has been started as an experimental measure (only) and we have received positive feedback from women. At present, regulation is being attempted at the platform through guides and public awareness.”
The DMRC has deployed CISF personnel also to conduct random checks. “The DMRC will resort to punitive measures such as fines and checks through mobile squads,” he said.